TI Dialogues: Overview

In the months surrounding Trinity’s annual theological conference, Trinity Institute (TI2016), a series of events called TI Dialogues offer additional opportunities to engage with some of the issues the conference explores, including mass incarceration, structural racism, and policy change. The dialogues are free and open to the public.

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Upcoming TI Dialogues

Please check back soon for more upcoming events

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Past TI Dialogues


TI Dialogue #5: Thursday, March 10

Anna Deavere Smith Presents "Race in America"
Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street) & webcast live
Although blizzard conditions in New York City prevented renowned professor and artist Anna Deavere Smith from speaking at the 2016 Trinity Institute as planned, her message is too powerful to be buried in the snow. Whether in person or online, you can attend the rescheduled presentation of "Race in America: Accepting Difference, Standing Shoulder to Shoulder."
This special event will be webcast live on trinitywallstreet.org and will be available on-demand for registered TI2016 partners, for six months after the event.

TI Dialogue #4: Sunday, February 28

A Conversation with the Rev. Jim Wallis: America's Original Sin
Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street) & webcast (live and on-demand)
Children’s activities will be offered from 1:15-3:30 pm in the Parish Center. RSVP to Wendy Barrie: wbarrie@trinitywallstreet.org.
"If white Christians acted more Christian than white, black parents would have less to fear for their children," says respected public theologian and New York Times bestselling author Jim Wallis in his latest book, America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. Following up on TI2016, "Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice," Wallis will speak at Trinity Church to cap his month-long tour of the country. He will share insights from his book and from the conversations it has provoked in cities large and small.
A panel will respond to Wallis, followed by a Q&A. Come to explore this timely call for a new conversation—and action—on racism, and a compelling agenda to deal with our lingering racial sins in many places, including our criminal justice system.
  • Yamily Bass-Choate is the Latino/Hispanic Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of New York. As Vicar of San Andres Episcopal Church in Yonkers, New York, she has established numerous forms of outreach, including after school programs, summer camp, immigration counseling, and guidance in accessing social and economic resources.
  • Chung Hyun Kyung is associate professor of ecumenical studies at Union Theological Seminary. In her writing and research she tries to synthesize the wisdom of the worldwide people’s movements, spiritual legacies of Asian religious traditions, and the world of the arts.
  • Cynthia Copeland is a historian affiliated with New York University. She cofounded and codirects the Seneca Village Project, created to study and create awareness of the nineteenth-century New York village of blacks and immigrants that was displaced to create Central Park.
  • Janine Tinsley-Roe is a member of the Shinnecock and Unkechaug Tribes of Long Island, New York. She is the founder of the Shinnecock-Sewanaka Society, Inc. and has also served as the Episcopal Church’s National Missioner for Native American Ministries for the US and abroad.

TI Dialogue #3: Sunday, January 17

Brown Girl Dreaming: A Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson
St. Paul's Chapel (Broadway and Fulton Street)
12:30pm Reception
1:30pm Presentation
Watch the full video (Registered Partners Only)
Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, has written numerous picture books and young adult novels that explore themes of identity and belonging. In the third TI Dialogue, Ms. Woodson invites both children (ages 10 and up) and adults to hear her story. She will speak about growing up in South Carolina and Brooklyn during the Civil Rights era and her writing as a springboard for thinking and talking about race, relationships, and community. A book signing will follow her talk, with copies of Brown Girl Dreaming available for sale.
Families with children ages 10 and up are encouraged to attend this event for the opportunity to explore issues of race in a safe, inclusive environment. "Brown Girl Dreaming" also provides a preview of the types of topics and conversations that are the focus of the upcoming Trinity Institute (TI) 2016, "Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice."
RSVPs not required.
12:30pm Reception
1:30pm Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson
2:30pm Book signing

TI Dialogue #2: Saturday, December 5, 2015

Education Equity
Featuring Freeman Hrabowski, keynote address
Trinity Church & webcast
Free; Lunch provided.
For the United States to live up to its aspiration of equal opportunity for all, our educational system needs help. Inequities in funding, discipline, teacher preparedness, and social support create an unequal playing field, leading to gross disparities in outcomes. Data from the U.S. Education Department show that these inequities array along racial lines. The good news is that innovative educators are forging, testing, and implementing effective solutions. Faith communities are engaging in growing numbers to help local schools succeed.
The TI Dialogue "Education Equity" offers an opportunity to examine these issues in depth and discuss practical ways we can make a difference in our communities, organizations, and school systems across the country. In order to bring clarity to this topic and spark discussion, Trinity Institute brings together thought leaders and experts who have dealt extensively with education inequity in real-world contexts. The day's talks and workshops will offer a clear picture of what's wrong, placing a strong emphasis on practical approaches to transform the system.
Speakers include:
  • Freeman Hrabowski has served as President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, since 1992—a school which was ranked one of the nation's "most innovative" national universities by U.S. News in 2015. He was recently named by President Obama to chair the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. In 2009, TIME magazine named Freeman one of America's "10 Best College Presidents," and in 2012 one of the "100 Most Influential People in World." Freeman's research and publications focus on minority participation and performance.
  • Hilary Pennington is vice president of the Ford Foundation's Education, Creativity, and Free Expression program. She leads the foundation's work on school reform in the United States and higher education around the world. As a national expert on postsecondary education and intergenerational change, Hilary has served as an education director for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and leader of the Generations Initiative, a project created to develop effective responses to the dramatic demographic shifts occurring in the U.S.
  • The Right Reverend W. Andrew Waldo was elected the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina in 2009. He plays an active role in All Our Children, a program that promotes, supports, and strengthens faith-based community partnerships with under-resourced public schools. Bishop Waldo was one of the earliest and strongest proponents of All Our Children, leading the Episcopal Church to endorse church-school partnerships as a path for following Jesus into the neighborhood, addressing educational inequity, and rejuvenating congregations.
  • Rudolph "Rudy" F. Crew, President of Medgar Evers College, CUNY, has served in various leadership roles throughout his career to improve student achievement, especially for poor and minority students. As Chancellor of New York City Public Schools from 1995 to 1999, Dr. Crew led a number of reforms, including adoption of curriculum standards for all schools, the creation of new mechanisms for school governance, and the introduction of school-based budgeting. He has also worked closely with stakeholders, first in New York and then in Miami, to place those cities' lowest-performing schools in virtual districts whose boundaries were defined by student need, not geography. He is the author of Only Connect: The Way to Save Our Schools.
This event will be webcast and available on-demand to registered TI partners.
Keynote address: Freeman Hrabowski
Followed by a Q&A session
Panel discussion
Speakers to include:
  • Hilary Pennington
  • Bishop W. Andrew Waldo
  • Rudy Crew
12:00pm Lunch
12:30pm Breakout discussions led by the panelists
1:45pm Reports
2-2:30pm Closing Worship

TI Dialogue #1: Saturday, September 12, 2015

Our Children, Our Prisons: Moving Young People from Incarceration to Education
Featuring Bryan Stevenson, keynote address
Trinity Church & webcast
Watch the full video (Registered Partners Only)
"Our Children, Our Prisons," the first of the TI Dialogues, focuses on the impact of incarceration on young people—those whose parents are imprisoned or are imprisoned themselves. In the United States each year, approximately 2,570 children as young as 13 are sentenced to juvenile life without parole. New York and North Carolina are the only two states that automatically prosecute all 16 and 17 year olds as adults (no matter the offense). Nationwide, more than 2.7 million children have an incarcerated parent—1 in 9 African American children, 1 in 28 Hispanic children, and 1 in 57 white children—a situation human rights advocates have called "the greatest threat to childhood well-being in the U.S."
This event brings together nationally recognized experts and local activists to clarify the issues, spark discussion, and offer practical advice on how to make a difference. Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, delivers the keynote address. He recently narrated a short video, Slavery to Mass Incarceration, as part of the Equal Justice Initiative's Race and Poverty project. Panel speakers will include Divine Pryor, Judith Kaye, the Rev. Vivian Nixon, and Diana Ortiz.
This event will be webcast and available on-demand.
Keynote address: Bryan Stevenson
Followed by a Q&A session
Panel discussion
Speakers to include:
  • Divine Pryor, Executive Director of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions
  • Judith Kaye, former Chief Judge of New York State
  • The Rev. Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship
  • Diana Ortiz, Associate Director of Exodus Transitional Community
12:00pm Lunch & reflection group discussions
1:15pm Reports
1:45-2:30pm Closing Worship