TI2016_eblast_art_1255x1350“Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice”

January 22-23, 2016

Click here for poster.


From January 22 to 23, 2016, Grace Episcopal Church will to be a partner site when a leading group of activists, scholars, authors, artists and experts on racial inequality come together to hold life-giving conversations on the racial issues of our time, including structural racism, mass incarceration, and policy change at Trinity Institute’s 45th National Theological Conference,“Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice.” Conference participation is open to anyone interested in a practical, theological perspective on racial equality and is ideal for seminarians, students, and church leaders looking for thought-leadership from experts and activists.

The live conference will be held at Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall Street, New York City). We will gather at Grace Church, 1213 Sixth Avenue, Port Huron (enter from parking lot off Court Street between 6th and 7th (Across from Museum) where we will offer all aspects the conference either in real time, via webcast—where participants can submit questions for speakers via email during the live Q&A

For more information about attending the conference at Grace please contact:

the Rev. Lydia Agnew Speller, or call 810-985-9539


TI2016 Schedule (EST)

Friday, January 22

9:00 a.m. Gathering in song and prayer: Melanie DeMore


9:30 a.m. Session 1: What Is Race, Anyway?

Nicholas Kristof, to be followed by a conversation among speakers

11:30 a.m. Reflection and  group discussions

12:45pm Lunch and watch Keynote: Michele Norris, “Eavesdropping on America’s

Conversation on Race”

2:00 p.m. Warm-up in song and prayer: Melanie DeMore

Session 2: A People’s History of Race

Emilie Townes, to be followed by a conversation among

4:00-4:15pm Reflection and group discussions

5:30 pm Bishop Michael Curry Thursday evening sermon.


Saturday, January 23


9:00 a.m. Warm-up in song and prayer: Melanie DeMore


9:30 a.m. Session 3: Soul Searching in a Culture of Control

Victor Rios, to be followed by a conversation among speakers

11:30 a.m. Reflection and group discussions

12:45am Lunch


2:00 p.m. Session 4: Listen for a Change

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


3:30 p.m. Session 5: What We Can Do Together – Policies and Practices

Conversations about the places where progress is being made, relationships are deepening, and change is emerging.

4:30 p.m. Closing


Recommended donation $15/day or $25 if you pay for  both days. Includes continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and conference materials. If you are passionate about the theme and can’t afford to attend, please let us kno when you register.

Call 810.985.9539 or email

For more information visit our website:

For more about Trinity Institute visit

Keynote speakers for this year’s conference include:

·      Keynote speaker Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times since 2001 and current blogger at On the Ground.  Kristof has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his coverage of Tiananmen Square and the genocide in Darfur, along with many humanitarian awards such as the Anne Frank Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

·      Anna Deavere Smith  (The West Wing & Nurse Jackie), professor at New York University and founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue.

·      Michael Curry, bishop of North Carolina since 2000, and in June 2015, was elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the first African-American to do so.

·      Emilie Townes, PhD, distinguished scholar and leader in theological education, and Dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is also the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair and Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society.

·      Michele Norris, a journalist and former host of NPR’s flagship afternoon broadcast, “All Things Considered.” Her memoir, The Grace of Silence (2010), explores her own racial legacy as well as the racial conversations in America following Barack Obama’s election as president.

·      Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at Duke University. He has been recognized for his outstanding scholarship in the area of racial issues, especially those affecting African-Americans or similarly disadvantaged racial/ethnic populations.

·      Victor Rios, PhD, author, speaker, and Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at UC-Santa Barbara. His book Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (NYU Press, 2011) analyzes how juvenile crime policies and criminalization affect the everyday lives of urban youth.

·      Kelly Brown Douglas, MDiv, PhD, Professor and Director of the Religion Department at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a leading voice in womanist theology and has served as an Episcopal priest for over 20 years.

·      Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University.

Other featured guests include:

·      Netsayi, Zimbabwean singer-songwriter who has made numerous live appearances on BBC Radio and has performed at the London Jazz Festival, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Royal Festival Hall, and the Barbican Centre, among other places.

·      Melanie DeMore, vocal activist who has made an impact on audiences all over the world through her compositions, solo performances, and choral conducting.

“TI2016 is for anyone who is interested in a theological perspective on racial justice and a fuller understanding of present realities and ways to transform them. It’s not just for clergy – anyone interested is invited to attend,” said Bob Scott, director of Trinity Institute.

Trinity Institute offers two (2) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for all persons who complete each year’s National Theological Conference.

For more information about Trinity Institute, visit

Trinity Institute

Trinity Institute is an annual conference in its 45th year that equips clergy and laypersons for imaginative and catalytic leadership. Trinity Institute conferences present emerging and inclusive theological and social perspectives and engage participants in inquiry, dialogue, and reflection. Participants from all faith perspectives are welcomed. The conference is sponsored by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in New York City.  Recent conferences include Building an Ethical Economy: Theology and the Marketplace; Reading Scripture Through Other Eyes; Radical Christian Life: Equipping Ourselves for Social Change; and Creating Common Good: A Practical Conference on Economic Equality.

Trinity Wall Street

Chartered in 1697, Trinity Wall Street is an Episcopal parish offering daily worship services and faith formation programs at Trinity Church, St. Paul’s Chapel, and online at Trinity Wall Street includes Trinity Grants, providing more than $80 million in funding to mission partners around the world since 1972; St. Margaret’s House, providing subsidized housing to the elderly and disabled since 1982; Trinity Preschool; Trinity Institute, an annual theological conference; an extensive arts program presenting more than 100 concerts each year through series such as Concerts at One, and performances by the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street and the Trinity Youth Chorus. Trinity Real Estate manages the parish’s six million square feet of commercial real estate in lower Manhattan, providing funding for the parish’s local and global mission outreach.  For more information, visit