If Not Now?...
At a national level, we often hear “We need to have a dialogue on race”, but that sentiment is also often mitigated by inaction or muted by the follow-up adage of “just not right now (or here).” Our simple response is “If not now, when?”
“If not now?” is a racial healing and dialogue forum through which we strive to increase levels of empathy and actionable commitment from all those involved. The participants will, in turn, lead transformation in their respective academic institutions and local community. This program will facilitate dialogue and action aimed at mutual empathy, culminating in participant-produced documentation of perspectives and solutions for healing race relations.
Students from both Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) will participate in and reflect upon facilitated dialogue sessions aimed at exploring causes and solutions for racial discord in the United States. The sessions are geographically dispersed between cities where an HBCU and a PWI are co-located and can offer a unique partnering relationship. While intended to help students learn an initial process for dialogue, ultimately students will be asked to translate their learning into implementable strategies for impacting the racial narrative within their respective geographic regions.
One student from each university will earn a stipend to assist in the planning process and production of a research artifact (video, survey, focus group research, or other project) that captures the results of the discussion. Chosen student representatives will also attend a two-day conference at which their collective artifacts will be presented.
Twenty to twenty-five students from eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and eight predominantly white universities (16 schools; 320 – 400 total students)