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 Spring Semester Programming
All events are open to the public unless otherwise noted

(Note: Common Hour programs are from 12:15 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.)​

  • February 14, 12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Raether Library and Information Technology Center: “Transcribe-a-Thon,” in which participants help transcribe digital records of 19th century black political organizing. Held in conjunction with the digital humanities project “Colored Conventions,” hosted at the University of Delaware.

  • February 21, 7:00 p.m., Vernon Social: “The Vagina Monologues,” by Eve Ensler. A fundraiser for the Interval House, Hartford’s battered women’s shelter. Director: Hamna Tariq ’21; Advisor: Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Michelle Hendrick. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center)

  • February 22, 4:30 p.m., Smith House–Reese Room: “Before and Beyond Defense, or, on the Limits of Academic Freedom,” a Jan Cohn Lecture in American Studies with Kandice Chuh, the current president of the American Studies Association. Sponsored by Trinity's American Studies Program.

  • February 24, 12:30 p.m., Mather Hall—Washington Room: Historian, professor, and author Ibram X. Kendi will be the keynote speaker at the Student of Color Conference, “Reclaiming Our Time: From the Margin to the Center.” Hosted by the Consortium on High Achievement and Success. Kendi’s book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, won the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction.

  • February 27, Common Hour, Mather Hall—The Cave: ​​“A Story of Trinity’s Diversity.” Campaign for Community student leaders will debut a draft of a timeline that tells the story of Trinity College, marking moments along the way to its rich diversity. Several actual-size panels of the timeline will be on display, as well as smaller-scale models of the whole timeline that will be installed on the walls of the Cave. The text of all of the timeline entries will be in a notebooks available at the event. Community members are invited to review the timeline entries and to share feedback and suggestions. The materials will be left in place for a number of day following the Common Hour event. Additional ideas also may be shared via email to campaign.community@trincoll.edu​​

  • February 27, 4:30 p.m., Mather Hall–Alumni Lounge: “Religion and American Diplomacy: From Obama to Trump,” a lecture by Greenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow Shaun Casey, director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs and a professor of the practice in Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service. (Hosted by the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life

  • “Health in Caribbean Hartford” forum—March 6–7, 2018: Presented by the Center for Caribbean Studies
        • ​​March 6, 6:00 p.m., Smith House–Reese Room: “Health in Caribbean Hartford” forum: Panel discussion with Mariola Espinosa (University of Iowa) and Adriana Arriba-Lopez (Kalamazoo College, Michigan), moderated by Professor of Anthropology Jim Trostle (Trinity College). 
        • ​March 7, 6:00 p.m., Mather Hall–Washington Room: “Health in Caribbean Hartford” forum: Guest lecturers Juan Angel Giusti Cordero (Professor of History, University of Puerto Rico) and Rocio Chang (Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health) and a general discussion among Trinity students, faculty, health practitioners, and Hartford residents. 
  • March 26, 4:30 p.m., Hallden Hall—Dangremond Family Commons: “The Digital Stage of Guantanamo: How the U.S. Military Speaks on Twitter,” presented by journalist Muira McCammon. This talk will probe the extension of U.S. military politics into the virtual realm and examine how digital technologies have transformed the narratives of Americanness, security, and defense coming out of one of the world’s most inaccessible and controversial prisons, Guantánamo Bay. Sponsored by Trinity's American Studies Program.

  • April 3, Common Hour, Mather Hall–Alumni Lounge: “African Women Access: Educating and Supporting African Women & Girls,” with Fatima Al Ansar ’17, the founder of African Women access. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center​)

  • April 10, Common Hour, Mather Hall-Terrace Room B: “Children's Literature and Change: José Martí and the Real-World Consequences of Childhood Reading,” by historian and children's book artist Emma Otheguy. The talk is free and open to the public, and a light lunch will be served. Learn more about Otheguy on her website, http://emmaotheguy.com. (Co-sponsored by American Studies and History)

  • April 17, 7:00 p.m., Location TBA: “Take Back the Night,” a campus-wide event, is an evening of presentations, entertainment, and survivor stories intended to raise awareness about issues related to gender based violence. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center; Sponsored by Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS))

  • April 19, 6:30 p.m., McCook Auditorium: “Risk of Success: My 75 Minutes of Fame,” by Janet Catherine Johnston of MIT, followed by a reception at 8:00 p.m. in Hallden Hall’s Dangremond Family Commons. Powered by four degrees from MIT, Ms. Johnston’s research, which ranges from Geophysics to Solar Physics, led her to serve as Consultant at a NASA Mission Design Lab. After a three decade-long career with the Air Force Research Laboratory as the principal investigator for a space weather mission, she is now at MIT as their Export Control Officer. Janet is a published science fiction author, playwright, private pilot, master costume designer, singer, dancer, teacher, performer and choreographer. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center; Sponsored by MIT Club of Hartford, Engineering)

  • April 20, 2:00p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Main Quad: “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” the Masculinity Project’s signature event to raise awareness about power-based gender violence and harassment on and off-campus. Male identified and gender non-conforming students, faculty and staff literally ‘walk a mile’ around campus in high heels. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center)

Women’s History Month Events

  • March 1, Common Hour, Mather Hall–Washington Room: “The Intersectionality of Race and Gender in Sports, Journalism and Today’s Climate,” by Jemele Hill of ESPN. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center; Co-sponsored by the Office of Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Dean of Students, SAIL, WGRAC, TCBWO, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, Human Rights Studies Department, Office of Multicultural Affairs, P.R.I.D.E, Imani, Department of Athletics, Bantam Network (Trinsition Fellows), SGA, PHAB, Masculinity Project, Multicultural Affairs Council, Women's Leadership Council.)  ​

  • March 8, Common Hour, Mather Hall–Terrace Rooms: “International Women’s Day,” a celebration of women’s resistance movements here and abroad. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center; Sponsored by WCL and TCBWO) 

  • March 20, Common Hour, Hallden Hall–Dangremond Family Commons: “A Woman or a Womb? Reproductive Legislation from Ancient Rome to Dystopian Future,” by Serena Witzke, professor of Classical Studies at Wesleyan University. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center)

  • March 21, 7:00 p.m., McCook Auditorium: Screening of the film “Birthright:  A War Story,” followed by a panel discussion in Dangremond Family Commons in Hallden Hall. Prior to this viewing there will be a silent vigil held at 6:30 p.m. on Gates Quad with people wearing A Handmaid Tale’s clothing. Participation in the vigil is open to Trinity students only. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center)

  • March 23, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Mather Hall: WGRAC Student Conference featuring student inspired workshops and speakers around issues that concern them. ​Open to Trinity students and other colleges. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center​)

  • March 27, Common Hour, Mather Hall–Terrace Rooms AB: “Fortune 500’s: Implementing Workplace Diversity,” presented by Mike Commarota, senior director of legal services and local transactions at Accentur. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center)​

Visual and Performing Arts, Installations, and Displays

  • ​April 5, Common Hour, Trinity Commons Performance Lab: Trinity LaMaMa: “Euripides’ Trojan Woman,” a performance and discussion by students of Trinity LaMaMa. Performers from the New York City theater company Great Jones Repertory Company at LaMaMa in New York City will talk about their experiences with the Trojan Women project. The project focuses on a fifth-century BC ancient Greek play, Euripides’ Trojan Women, which depicts the experiences of women after the fall of their city. LaMaMa’s project trains performers from around the world (Guatemala, Kosovo, Cambodia) on how to make The Trojan Women relevant to their own experiences and perform the play. (Presented by the Women & Gender Resource Action Center​)  ​


​Relevant Fall Semester Programming

  • 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)

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​