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Race & Reconciliation Initiative

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The Race & Reconciliation Initiative is an academically-based, historically-focused initiative designed to investigate and document TCU's relationship with slavery, racism, and the Confederacy.

This academic endeavor will span multiple years. The focus for 2020-2021 was on Black Americans and TCU’s experiences with racism, slavery and the Confederacy. The findings of the first year report can be found on the homepage.

Histories related to other identities will be explored in subsequent years as stated in the tentative plans that follows.

  • Year 2- Starting with a  deeper dive with an intersectional lens into Founding Years, 1861-1891
    • The Objective is to conduct a more comprehensive analysis within this 30-year period upon:
      • Native American lens – relationship to land/labor
      • Latinx lens – relationship to land/labor
      • White lens – relationship to Texas/U.S. History
      • African American lens – relationship to land/labor
      • We will remain open to whatever else we discover in the archives
  • Year 3- Deeper dive with an intersectional lens into Transition to Integration, 1941 – 1971
  • Year 4- Deeper dive with an intersectional lens into Recent, but Related Histories, 1998 – 2020 (Jan.)
  • Year 5- RRI will privde a comprehensive five-year Summary Report

“Our study of TCU’s history will provide critical perspective, deepen understanding and result in recommendations for action and healing.”

Frederick Gooding, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of African American Studies in the John V. Roach Honors College | chair, Race and Reconciliation Initiative

This academic endeavor will commit its first year to research focusing primarily on Black Americans and TCU’s experiences with racism, slavery and the Confederacy. Other identities will be addressed in year two.

Through the RRI, TCU will align with more than 60 universities worldwide as part of the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium, a movement designed for sharing research and strategies through semi-annual gatherings. Ultimately, the RRI helps the university embrace an active role in understanding and healing our community.

Committee Members

  • Haylee Chiariello                          Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Sean Atkinson, Ph.D.
    Committee Member, College of Fine Arts
  • Kenneth Chapman
    Committee Member, Neeley School of Business
  • Amy Ceniceros
    Graduate Research Assistant
  • Leslie Epke, M.A., M.B.A.
    Graduate Student Representative
  • Alan Gallay, Ph.D.
    Committee Member, History
  • Frederick Gooding, Jr., Ph.D.
    Chair, John V. Roach Honors College
  • Sylviane Greensword, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Director of RRI Oral History Project
  • Lynn Hampton, Ph.D.
    Committee Member, John V. Roach Honors College
  • Clifford E. Harrell II, Ph.D.
    Committee Member, Athletics
  • Alex Hidalgo, Ph.D.
    Committee, History
  • J. Bryan King, M.B.A.
    Committee Member, TCU Board of Trustees
  • Brady Quinn, Ph.D.
    Committee Member, College of Education 
  • Cellie Strelow
    Committee Member, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Lauren Laphen
    Archival Crew Member
  • Adam W. McKinney, M.F.A.
    Committee Member, Dance
  • Trung Nguyen, Ed.D.
    Committee Member, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Marcellis Perkins, M.Ed
    Graduate Research Assistant
  • Sheila Williams
    Administrative Support, Office of the Provost
  • Rebecca Sharpless, Ph.D.
    Committee Member, History
  • Nancy Ruiz '07
    Committee Member, TCU Alumni Association 
  • Briana Salas
    Archival Crew Member
  • Uma Tiwari
    RRI Oral History Project Intern
  • Holly Ellman
    Marketing & Communication
  • Mary Saffell, M.L.S.
    Mary Couts Burnett Library
  • Claire Sanders, Ph.D.
  • Karen Steele, Ph.D.
    English and Office of the Provost
  • Tracy Syler-Jones, M.B.A.
    Marketing & Communication
  • Aisha Torrey-Sawyer, M.Ed.
    Interim Chief Diversity Officer


Frequently Asked Questions

RRI was created by charge of the Chancellor and Board of Trustees; there are 15 core committee members organized into 5 different Research Task Forces.

RRI stands for Race & Reconciliation Initiative, and represents an academically-based historical inquiry into TCU's relationship with slavery, racism and the Confederacy.

RRI was charged into existence in August, 2020 and will be a multi-year endeavor. The RRI  delivered a first year report to the campus on Reconciliation Day on April 21, 2021. The second report will be delivered on April 21, 2022.

In the COVID-19 era, RRI members are gathering primary and secondary sources online and in person with the help of archivists. Virtual meetings ensure that the group makes steady progress.

There is no better time than the present. RRI is the culmination of years of advocacy and activism by numerous members of our TCU community.

The RRI is an academic initiative focused on TCU’s history. It works independently from the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Office of Institutional Equity, Inclusiveness & Intercultural Services, and the DEI committee. If the RRI receives inquiries outside its scope, it will redirect those questions to the appropriate office.

As the Race & Reconciliation Initiative winds down for the first semester, many in the TCU community have asked about ways they can support their efforts. Here are five practical tips for you to get involved.

Spring Assignments: Faculty may incorporate readings or assignments that contribute to RRI’s historical study of TCU’s relationship to slavery, racism and the Confederacy. Contact for suggestions that relate to your course(s).

Attend Town Hall Meetings: There is a virtual town hall meeting every month, beginning this spring on Jan. 28. Faculty may incentivize student attendance by offering extra credit for each event. Attendees will learn about the ongoing research and get updates on the initiative. 

Host Guest Speakers: Request a guest speaker from the RRI committee for your classroom, division or club/organization. Committee members can expand the dialogue about the power of history and how to tell a holistic story. Email

Attend Roundtable Discussions: Faculty, staff, students and alumni may participate in ‘Running the Race’ – in-person meet ups held from noon-1 p.m. the first Friday of every month under the open-air tent behind the founders statue. The sessions create a safe space and place to talk about race. Faculty may consider extra credit for student reflections on the discussions.

Reconciliation Day – 4/21/22: Faculty may include Reconciliation Day on their syllabi and everyone should make plans to join the virtual event, where RRI will share the first-year survey report. The report will include all that was learned about TCU’s past and recommendations for ways to move forward together as the Horned Frog community.