Trinity Institute 2016

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” —Ephesians 4:25

Trinity Institute 2016 is an action-oriented theological conference for racial justice, held at Trinity Wall Street in New York City. We at St. Mark’s are honored to serve as a partner site for the conference, broadcasting the live feed for the whole conference on our 70-inch flatscreen, as well as providing times for dialogue and reflection.

This is a matter of life or death; we can’t afford to stay silent and tacitly accept the (mostly) invisible systems that support inequalities, create suffering, and deny human dignity. Rather, we must have an open dialogue about how systemic racism is hurting us and what we can do to create change—a process that starts with listening. TI2016 recognizes that many of us avoid conversations about race because they’re difficult, uncomfortable, or risk being perceived as prejudiced. Instead, the conversations in TI2016 will be learning opportunities: chances to talk skillfully and with less apprehension about charged issues with people who might have differing perspectives. These life-giving conversations will teach us more about the racial issues of our time, including structural racism, mass incarceration, and policy change.


TI2016 brings action-oriented theologians and thought leaders, including Nicholas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, and Emilie Townes, to provide you with inspiration and ideas you can use in your community to make a positive impact.
TI2016_Speaker_photos_longRegister to attend our partner site for TI2016 at St. Mark’s by clicking here.


Thursday, January 21

6:30pm – Opening Worship
Preacher: The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
8:00pm – Keynote Address
Michele Norris, “Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation on Race”

Friday, January 22

9:00am – Gathering in song and prayer: Melanie DeMore
9:30am – Session 1: What Is Race, Anyway?

Science tells us that race has no basis in biology or genetics. So is race real? Surveys show how racist attitudes that were widespread 50 years ago are swiftly disappearing. So how can our society be racist? And why did it cause such a stir when a university offered a class on “The Problem of Whiteness”? TI2016’s distinguished speakers will bring a sharp focus on what we talk about when we talk about race.

20-minute opening talk: Nicholas Kristof

Panel and Q&A with:
Nicholas Kristof
Emilie Townes
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

11:00am – Break
11:30am – Reflection group meeting
12:45pm – Lunch
2:00pm – Gathering in song and prayer: Melanie DeMore

Session 2: A People’s History of Race

Even as we make strides toward overcoming racism in individuals, we need to take a closer look at the way our society’s systems developed to perpetuate inequality. Insightful performance and probing conversation will help to ensure that when we talk about the future, we are conscious of a past that still clings to the present.

20-minute opening talk: Emilie Townes

Panel and Q&A with:
Gary Dorrien
Janine Tinsley-Roe
T. James Kodera

3:30pm – Break
4:00-5:15pm – Reflection group meeting

Saturday, January 23

9:00am – Warm-up in song and prayer: Melanie DeMore
9:30am – Session 3: Soul Searching in a Culture of Control

As Michelle Alexander argues in The New Jim Crow, “our prison system is a unique form of social control, much like slavery and Jim Crow, the systems it has replaced.” Churches are waking up in great numbers to the importance of challenging this systemic injustice.

20-minute talk: Victor Rios

20-minute talk: Kelly Brown Douglas

Dialogue and Q&A
11:00am – Break
11:30am – Reflection group meeting
12:45am – Lunch
2:00pm – Session 4: Listen for a Change

Featuring Anna Deavere Smith, “Race in America: Accepting Difference, Standing Shoulder to Shoulder”

3:15pm – Break
3:30pm – Session 5: What Can We Do Together?

Following up on the presentations and small group work, participants will reflect on what they’ve heard in the past few days in order to discern the implications for action, both in our local contexts and through larger partnerships. Trinity’s Rector and senior leadership will speak about Trinity’s commitments and invite partnerships.

The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector of Trinity Wall Street
Panel TBA
4:30pm – Closing

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