Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center holds open house


Photo credit/ Caitlin Ryerson

The Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center will provide resources for the Marywood Community.

The Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Center will be holding an open house on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Learning Commons room 262.

In Dec. 2019, Marywood received a $20,000 grant from the American Association of Colleges and Universities to create a TRHT Center on campus.

The grand opening of the center was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now the center will finally open its doors to the Marywood community as well as the rest of the Scranton area.

The center is located on the second floor of the Learning Commons and will be open daily for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to stop by and explore the various resources provided such as books, movies, pamphlets, artwork and bulletin boards with upcoming events on campus and within the community.

Director of Student Equity, Inclusion, and Programing Kiesha Vilchert explained that these resources are intended to provide people with the tools to better understand and communicate with others.

“Each and everyday you’re meeting people who are different from you, who have had different experiences, who are carrying different things and without the tools to be able to communicate with them, to build connections, to build bridges, it makes for a very lonely life,” said Vilchert.

Vilchert mentioned that the center will continue to collect resources after its grand opening and that individuals are welcome to share any resources they think would benefit the center and the community.

Dr. Yerodin Lucas, executive director of institutional equity & inclusion, mentioned the center will also serve as a place for conversations that will lead to understanding and awareness of the racial and socio-economic divides in the United States.

“It’s important in communities, especially like Northeast PA, for us to have these conversations, to bring people together, and create that awareness and understanding for change to happen,” said Lucas.

Lucas mentioned that the center will focus on a variety of social justice issues in addition to racial inequality, such as issues within the LGBTQ+ and disabled communities.

The center will host various events such as a diversity, equity, and inclusion training workshop for faculty and staff, a LGBTQIA+ community workshop with faculty, staff and students, and speakers to honor Native American heritage month.

The Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion intends for the center to be a safe space for people to connect and engage in conversations about social justice.

“It’s a living, breathing center. We want engagement, we want students to come, we want people to engage in conversations,” said Lucas.

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