calendar November 9, 2015 in Advocacy, Equipping, News

Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice

The Synod is co-sponsoring live webcasts of “Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice” featuring New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, actor Anna Deavere Smith, and Vanderbilt Divinity School Dean Emilie Townes on January 21-23, 2016, at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

The webcasts from Trinity Wall Street’s annual theological conference will explore structural racism, mass incarceration, and policy change. Small group discussions will focus on how to undo racism here at home.

The three-day conference begins Thursday, Jan. 21 at 5:30 pm in LTSP’s Brossman Center, and concludes Saturday, Jan. 23 at 4:30 pm. Cost is $20 for all three days (LTSP students free with ID).

Register starting December 1 at For more information contact Barbara Ballinger at Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields at or 215.247.7466, ext. 102.

Other co-sponsors of the event are The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Seminary, The Episcopal Mission Center, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and its Anti-Racism Commission.

Other speakers include Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Gary Dorrien, Kelly Brown Douglas, Michelle Norris, and Victor Rios. For more information about Trinity Institute’s National Theological Conference in NYC — including speaker bios, schedule, videos, and more — visit


This schedule is subject to change. Please visit here for updates.

Thursday, January 21

5:30PM  Registration Opens

6:30PM  Opening Worship



The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry

8:00PM  Keynote Address

Michele Norris

    , “Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation on Race”

Friday, January 22

7:45AM  Registration opens, continental breakfast

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 KristofPanel and Q&A with:Nicholas KristofEmilie TownesEduardo Bonilla-Silva

    11:00AM  Break

    11:30AM  Reflection group meeting

    12:45PM  Lunch

      Lunch is not included or provided. We encourage participants to go out and enjoy the many dining experiences of Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.

    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 TownesPanel and Q&A with:Gary DorrienJanine Tinsley-RoeT. James Kodera

      3:30PM  Break

      4:00-5:15PM Reflection group meeting

      Saturday, January 23

      8:00AM  Continental breakfast

      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

        Lunch is not included or provided. We encourage participants to go out and enjoy the many dining experiences of Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.

      2:00PM  Session 4: Listen for a Change


      Anna Deavere Smith

        , “Race in America: Accepting Difference, Standing Shoulder to Shoulder”.


      3:15PM  Break

      3:30PM  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. The goal is to help participants find inspiration and concrete ideas to implement.


           The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer,

      Rector, Trinity ChurchQ&A and panelPanel guests to be announced

      4:30PM  Closing

      #TI2016PHILLY HOME