The University of the South’s history of entanglement with the institution of slavery necessitates that we actively confront its legacy and vestiges to bring about a true sense of belonging especially for students, faculty, and staff who are from historically underrepresented racial or ethnic groups on our campus. As an institution, our commitment to inclusion and belonging is grounded in our core values of inquiry, community, flourishing, and courage and reinforced by the Episcopal Church’s commitment to “becoming a beloved community.” We seek to build a community enriched by our diversity and centered on equity, justice, mutual respect, and shared responsibility. For all members of our community to truly be able to flourish, healing must take place.

To work toward this end, and to foster racial healing, we must acknowledge, learn, and take action to address our institution’s—and nation’s—past and how it has shaped our present and hopes for the future.

The University’s graduate School of Theology will become an agent of transformation across the Episcopal Church and beyond as the lay and ordained leaders it prepares will be equipped with tools for truth-telling, reconciliation, and transformation.

The undergraduate College will become a model for intellectual and courageous inquiry and transformative relationship building by providing intentional curricular and co-curricular opportunities for all faculty, staff, students, and community members related to the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) framework.

Our guiding principles

As we develop our TRHT Campus Center’s vision and mission, we will be guided by these principles: 

  • Confronting: We face up to our university’s long historical record of racial injustice.
  • Choosing: We accept the responsibilities that history places on us in the present.
  • Charting: Informed by an unflinching understanding of our past and inspired by a renewed appreciation of the values that guide us as an institution of higher education shaped by the Episcopal Church, we commit ourselves to take actions to chart a different future for this university community, one that fosters racial healing and promotes justice and equity on our campus and beyond.
Our Goals
  1. Create a positive narrative about race in our community
  2. Promote racial healing activities on campus and in our community
  3. Erase institutional barriers to equal treatment
  4. Prepare the next generation of leaders to build just and equitable communities

On Nov. 17, Sewanee was chosen by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to host one of 16 new Campus Centers around the country. These centers are part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT movement—a comprehensive, national and community-based process to address the historic and contemporary sources of racism and bring about transformational and sustainable change.

The AAC&U TRHT framework provides coherency and coordination to the racial reconciliation work already underway at Sewanee, and the national designation affirms Sewanee's place among peer and aspirant institutions also engaged in this seminal work. The University’s TRHT Campus Center further aligns Sewanee, the only institution of higher education founded and governed by dioceses of the Episcopal Church, with the Church’s ongoing Becoming Beloved Community initiative.

There are currently 71 TRHT Campus Centers, including centers at Agnes Scott College, Bethel College, Brown University, Duke University, Millsaps College, Pepperdine University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.