PETERSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia State University is set to have the country’s first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Center for Policing Leadership and Social Justice.

Known as “The Center,” the newly established initiative will further allow VSU and the surrounding communities to address the critical divide between law enforcement and communities of color. 

In a release from the university, administrators say The Center will be “an intellectual, creative, and action-oriented space to engage in collaborative research, training, policy and program development to address the social, political, economic, and cultural issues that have historically impacted communities of color and police/community relations.”  

It will also house subject matter experts and specialized trainers and educators on topics of national discourse and policy on policing, criminal justice reform, and race relations in America.  

Ahead of the upcoming academic year, the initiative’s mission will begin planning for its reconvening conference in October, inviting a broader network of committed Police Chiefs, Community leaders, activists, and returning students who will join the collaboration as vital research and engagement interns.

For more information on The Center, click here