Pepperdine University to Host “Coast-to-Coast Racial Healing Circle”
“Our diversity efforts will be ineffective until we can see the full humanity of others” - Dr. J. Goosby Smith
January 10, 2023 – Malibu, CA – In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (celebrated annually on the third Monday in January) and the National Day of Racial Healing (celebrated annually on the third Tuesday in January), Pepperdine University will co-host a virtual Coast-to-Coast Racial Healing Circle Tuesday, January 17, 2023, from 3 PM to 4:30 PM PDT (6:30 PM to 7:30 PM EDT).
Pepperdine University's Larry D. Kimmons Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative will co-host the event in collaboration with The Citadel's Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center and the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative of Charleston. The methodology of racial healing circles encourages the exchange of stories and ideas in an intimate setting to enable participants to build trust and see humanity in themselves and others in their community.
With support from the US Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Movement, a commission created to alleviate divisions between people of different backgrounds, Pepperdine launched the Larry D. Kimmons Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative in 2022 to facilitate Community Belonging Circles and other activities to connect internal and external community members. J. Goosby Smith, vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer at Pepperdine, began this work with a team of similarly unity-minded individuals while serving as associate provost for diversity and inclusion at The Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina) in Charleston. First as co-director and later as director of that campus center, Goosby Smith learned the power of the Rx Racial Healing Circle methodology for helping people to connect with one another in circles, especially those with whom they perceived themselves to have nothing in common. The Citadel then collaborated with the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative (SJREC) of Charleston, seeking to bring this work to the city at large. Since then, Goosby Smith has supported the SJREC local effort by co-facilitating circles called CitListen Sessions with director Tessa Updike.
“We at Pepperdine University's Larry D. Kimmons Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative are beyond excited to partner with The Citadel's Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center to offer this virtual, highly interactive Racial Healing Circle on the National Day of Racial Healing,” said Goosby Smith. “This work is vital because our diversity efforts will be ineffective until we can see the full humanity of others. The only way to cure divisiveness and to eliminate the idea that human worth fluctuates with their demographics is to connect them—one interaction at a time.”
Register for the Coast-to-Coast Racial Healing Circle here.
About Pepperdine University
Founded in 1937, Pepperdine University is an independent, Christian university located 30 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles in scenic Malibu, California. The University enrolls approximately 10,300 students across its flagship liberal arts school, Seaver College; the Caruso School of Law; the Graziadio Business School; the Graduate School of Education and Psychology; and the School of Public Policy. Pepperdine is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. Follow Pepperdine on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
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