Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Monroe Community College to join national initiative on racial equity in higher ed

Monroe Community College is joining 18 other universities across the country in an initiative to attain greater racial equity in higher education and in society.

While the research behind the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation process is based at universities, it is focused on the experiences of students, faculty, and staff in their daily lives.

“There’s a lot of racial healing that still needs to take place in our community,” said Calvin Gantt, MCC’s vice president for diversity, equity and belonging. “We have to look at our community in a way that allows us to figure out a way to support those who have been impacted negatively.”

Starting next month, Gantt said he and others at the college will begin researching aspects of systemic racism affecting residents in Rochester. He expects that issues around housing, disproportionate rates of incarceration for Black and brown people, and Rochester’s poverty rate will be points of interest for this research.

"If this generation doesn't make it out of poverty, the next generation suffers the consequences of possibly not making out of poverty as well,” Gantt said. “Our downtown campus is right smack dab in the middle of downtown Rochester, we have a commitment to making sure that we are an active part of creating a better Rochester for all members of our community.”

The American Association of Colleges and Universities, in partnership with the Kellogg’s Foundation, has granted MCC $10,000 for the project, Gantt said. The outcome will be a “toolkit” of resources that other colleges and universities can use to further the initiative on their campuses.

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.