Bridging Divides

Higher Education’s Role in Advancing Understanding and Promoting a Just Society


Through programming and conversations on campus and off throughout 2017-18, we seek to bring together the Trinity College community in creating an environment that invites dialogue and promotes understanding across differences. The scope of the conversations will be broad and the formats flexible, involving discussions of such issues as race and racism, academic freedom and freedom of speech, power and privilege, and the challenges of holding productive, respectful dialogue on such topics. We invite all members of the community to co-own this initiative and to bring forth ideas and energy for relevant programming. Indeed, it is our collective responsibility to create and nurture a community that advances understanding through discovery, discourse, and respectful listening. 

Our goal isn’t to get everyone to agree on an issue or with any particular decision by the College, but rather to help one another see and understand different perspectives, and to promote a culture on campus and within our broader community that actively seeks diverse opinions. A college campus is the best place to do this work, and our ability to do it well is central to the public good that higher education promises and that Trinity College can deliver. This work is especially important in today's deeply divided world. 

If you have an idea for an event, exhibition, performance, or other activity you’d like to see and/or help develop for this year, please let us know. Likewise, if you’re already planning something that’s relevant, please tell us about it​ so that we might promote and share it through Bridging Divides.

Relevant Pre-Orientation and Orientation Programming

  • August 20 and 24: Workshops and discussions with PRIDE Leaders and RAs facilitated by Associate Chaplain John L. Selders Jr., Camelle Scott-Mujahid, and Janee Woods
  • August 31: President’s Convocation
  • September 3: “You. Me. We.” An interactive program on racism, sexism, and LGBTQ issues presented by GTC Dramatic Dialogues
  • September 3: Vernon Street Block Party, hosted by Trinity’s cultural and social houses
  • September 3: Inaugural Candle Lighting ceremony for the Class of 2021

Relevant Fall Semester Programming

(Note: Common Hour programs are from 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.)​

  • September 7, Common Hour, Hallden Hall—North Wing: “Race in Academia: A Faculty Panel and Discussion” DAVARIAN BALDWIN, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies; DARÍO EURAQUE, Professor of History and International Studies; HEBE GUARDIOLA-DÍAZ, Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience; DIANA PAULIN, Associate Professor of English and American Studies; DONNA MARCANO. Associate Professor of Philosophy (moderator)
  • September 12, Common Hour, Mather Hall—Washington Room: “The Color of Law,” by Richard Rothstein​, research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and fellow of the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Haas Institute at the University of California Berkeley (Co-sponsored by Trinity Center for Urban and Global Studies, Educational Studies, Multicultural Affairs, Political Science, Public Policy & Law, Sociology, and Professor Davarian Baldwin)
  • September 14, Common Hour, Hallden Hall—North Wing: “Freedom to Teach in the Classroom,” by Joerg Tiede, senior program officer in the Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance at the American Association of University Professors (Presented by the Center for Teaching and Learning, co-sponsored by the Trinity College AAUP Chapter)
  • September 19, Common Hour: “An Unfinished Conversation,”​​ presented by filmmaker, educator, and diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah (followed by a workshop with student P.R.I.D.E. Leaders and RAs)
  • September 26, Common Hour, Hallden Halll—North Wing: “Authority in the classroom: Experiences of diverse faculty members teaching politically charged subjects"
  • October 3, 7:00 p.m., Mather Hall—Washington Room​: Longtime Philadelphia Inquirer editor Bill Marimow ’69 in conversation with civil rights scholar and Phi Beta Kappa Society Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Lawrence, former president of Brandeis University, on “The Contours of Free Expression on Campus.”  Watch  an archived version of the live webcast on YouTube​.
  • October 19, Common Hour, Hallden Hall—North Wing: “Conflict is Not Abuse,” a workshop with Sarah Schulman (Presented by the Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • October 26, Common Hour, Hallden Hall—North Wing: “Confronting White Supremacy: Racism and Anti-Racism in Our Classrooms and Communities,” by Crystal Marie Fleming, associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at Stony Brook University (Presented by the Center for Teaching and Learning)

Visual and Performing Arts, Installations and Displays

  • ​October 12 - Dec 9, 2017
    Art from Archive: Work by Lewis Watts and Pablo Delano
    Widener Gallery, Austin Arts Center
    Opening reception Oct 12, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Common Hour panel discussion October 12 

    Produced by the Department of Fine Arts and the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, with additional support from The Center for Urban and Global Studies Arts Fund, The Office of the Dean of Faculty, The Department of History, The Office of Multicultural Affairs and The Center for Caribbean Studies)

Off-Campus Programming

  • ​Programs to be announced

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