Professional Development



Guest Speakers & Workshops


Christena Cleveland, Ph.D.

Cleveland is a social psychologist, public theologian, author, and activist. She holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara as well as an honorary doctorate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. An award-winning researcher and author, Christena is a Ford Foundation Fellow who has held faculty positions at several institutions of higher education — most recently at Duke University’s Divinity School, where she led a research team investigating self-compassion as a buffer to racial stress.

Ali Michael, Ph.D.

Dr. Michael is the co-Founder and director of the Race Institute for K-12 Educators, working with schools and organizations across the country to help make research on race, Whiteness, and education more accessible and relevant. She's is the author of Raising Race Questions: Whiteness, Inquiry and Education, winner of the 2017 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award. Ali sits on the editorial board of the journal Whiteness and Education and teaches in the Diversity and Inclusion Program at Princeton University, as well as the Equity Institutes for Higher Education from the University of Southern California.

Maria McKenna, Ph.D. & Brian S. Collier, Ph.D.

Dr. McKenna is an associate professor of the Practice, Department of Africana Studies and Education, Schooling, & Society Program Affiliated Faculty, Poverty Studies Program Fellow, Institute of Educational Initiatives. Dr. Collier is the director American Indian Catholic Schools Network (AICSN), Faculty & Fellow, Institute for Educational Initiatives, Supervisor in the ACE M.Ed. Program, Service through Teaching.

American Promise

American Promise is a documentary film spanning 13 years, which captures the stories of Brewster and Stephenson's 5-year-old son Idris and his best friend and classmate Seun as these families navigate their way through the rigorous prep-school process. The film is set against the backdrop of a persistent educational achievement gap that dramatically affects African-American boys at all socioeconomic levels across the country. American Promise premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.



Summer Reading


"Blind Spot"

These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality. A "blindspot" is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases. Writing with simplicity and verve, Banaji and Greenwald question the extent to which our perceptions of social groups—without our awareness or conscious control—shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential. In "Blindspot", the authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot. The title’s “good people” are those of us who strive to align our behavior with our intentions. The aim of "Blindspot" is to explain the science in plain enough language to help well-intentioned people achieve that alignment. By gaining awareness, we can adapt beliefs and behavior and “outsmart the machine” in our heads so we can be fairer to those around us. Venturing into this book is an invitation to understand our own minds. Brilliant, authoritative, and utterly accessible, "Blindspot" is a book that will challenge and change readers for years to come.


The desire for dignity is universal and powerful. It is a motivating force behind all human interaction—in families, in communities, in the business world, and in relationships at the international level. When dignity is violated, the response is likely to involve aggression, even violence, hatred, and vengeance. On the other hand, when people treat one another with dignity, they become more connected and are able to create more meaningful relationships. Surprisingly, most people have little understanding of dignity, observes Donna Hicks in this important book. She examines the reasons for this gap and offers a new set of strategies for becoming aware of dignity's vital role in our lives and learning to put dignity into practice in everyday life. Drawing on her extensive experience in international conflict resolution and on insights from evolutionary biology, psychology, and neuroscience, the author explains what the elements of dignity are, how to recognize dignity violations, how to respond when we are not treated with dignity, how dignity can restore a broken relationship, why leaders must understand the concept of dignity, and more. Hicks shows that by choosing dignity as a way of life, we open the way to greater peace within ourselves and to a safer and more humane world for all.

"Everyday Anti-Racism"

How can educator's actions be considered "racist", and which are "antiracist"? How can an educator constructively discuss complex issues of race with students and colleagues? In "Everyday Anti-Racism", leading educators deal with the most challenging questions about race in school, offering invaluable and effective advice. Contributors including Beverly Daniel Tatum, Sonia Nieto, and Pedro Noguera describe concrete ways to analyze classroom interactions that may or may not be "racial," deal with racial inequality and "diversity," and teach to high standards across racial lines. Topics range from using racial incidents as teachable moments and responding to the "n-word" to valuing students' home worlds, dealing daily with achievement gaps, and helping parents fight ethnic and racial misconceptions about their children. Questions following each essay prompt readers to examine and discuss everyday issues of race and opportunity in their own classrooms and schools. For educators and parents determined to move beyond frustrations about race, "Everyday Antiracism" is an essential tool.

"So You Want to Talk about Race"

In "So You Want to Talk About Race", editor-at-large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions listeners don't dare ask and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans. Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues in America. Her messages are passionate but finely tuned and crystallize ideas that would otherwise be vague by empowering them with aha-moment clarity. Her writing brings to mind voices like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism, and a young Gloria Naylor, particularly in Naylor's seminal essay "The Meaning of a Word". A Harper's Bazaar pick of One of 10 Books to Read in 2018. 

"See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love"

How do we love in a time of rage? How do we fix a broken world while not breaking ourselves? Valarie Kaur—renowned Sikh activist, filmmaker, and civil rights lawyer—describes revolutionary love as the call of our time, a radical, joyful practice that extends in three directions: to others, to our opponents, and to ourselves. It enjoins us to see no stranger but instead look at others and say: You are part of me I do not yet know. Starting from that place of wonder, the world begins to change. It is a practice that can transform a relationship, a community, a culture, even a nation. Kaur takes readers through her own riveting journey—as a brown girl growing up in California farmland finding her place in the world; as a young adult galvanized by the murders of Sikhs after 9/11; as a law student fighting injustices in American prisons and on Guantánamo Bay; as an activist working with communities recovering from xenophobic attacks; and as a woman trying to heal from her own experiences with police violence and sexual assault. Drawing from the wisdom of sages, scientists, and activists, Kaur reclaims love as an active, public, and revolutionary force that creates new possibilities for ourselves, our communities, and our world. "See No Stranger" helps us imagine new ways of being with each other—and with ourselves—so that together we can begin to build the world we want to see.

"Talking to Strangers" 

Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the number-one New York Times best seller Outliers, reinvents the audiobook in this immersive production of "Talking to Strangers", a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don’t know. How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true? While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of "Talking to Strangers", you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed - scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song - Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout." Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. 



National SEED Project

Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity


Since 2007, Trinity Episcopal School has been an active member of the SEED Project, a national program that encourages community-wide ownership of diversity challenges and solutions. We host two SEED groups, one for faculty and staff and another for parents. The groups focus on systemic understanding of topics such as race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation. Trinity is the only school in Austin that partners with the National SEED Project. We are building a community: a family with different faces, thoughts and ideas. We are creating a safe environment, one that mirrors a world in which children see their faces, their history, their way of life and their culture. All of this validates their existence, value and inclusion in society.  

Monthly Seminars

During monthly seminars, participants explore their own education in relation to race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual identity, abilities and age, and how these factors currently impact their school, community and classroom. Seminars are led by facilitators who have participated in an intense week-long SEED New Leaders' training program. Leaders do not lecture, but rather lead their peers in experiential, interactive exercises and discussions, often stimulated by films and readings. SEED seminars help participants reflect on and connect their individual experiences to a wider systematic context. Members gain new insights into how the world works and how they can make their schools more inclusive and fair. Because of the format and nature of topics covered, we ask that you commit to all six sessions as trust and relationships grow and develop over the course of the year. The first two sessions are vital to establishing the foundation for this. We know life gets in the way. If you can’t make at least one of the first two sessions, please consider waiting until next year to participate. Want to sign up or get more details? Email Viji Panda, Director of Initiatives for Diversity & Inclusion.

SEED New Leaders Training

A seven-day, residential New Leaders Week that prepares people to lead SEED seminars in institutions or communities where they are already employees or members. Teachers must apply to the National SEED organization and be accepted. Teachers return to campus and commit to leading monthly SEED seminars. We are committed to sending two people every two years. Learn more:





Diversity Leadership Institute

A week-long residential diversity leadership training for teachers to be aware of personal biases and blind spots. This allows them to teach authentically in classroom environments where a diverse group of people and perspectives are represented. The DLI curriculum addresses the many dimensions of diversity to help you develop mindful initiatives and enhance ongoing efforts that support your institution’s mission and commitment to continuous improvement. By examining and applying sound theory, best practices, and creative approaches to human interaction and organizational dynamics, institute participants enhance professional competencies, build credibility, foster innovation, and plan strategically for building and sustaining school communities that maximize the potential of students and adults alike. DLI focuses on Intercultural Conflict, Leading and Managing Diversity Initiatives, Dynamics of Privilege and Power, Cultural Competence, The Neuroscience of Bias; and Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Identity Development.





"Beyond Diversity" by Courageous Conversation

Now in its twenty-first year of existence, Beyond Diversity is a powerful, personally transforming, two-day seminar designed to help leaders understand the impact of race and investigate the role that racism plays in institutionalizing disparities. Created by Pacific Educational Group, committed to achieving racial equity in the U.S. and beyond.

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People of Color Conference

The People of Color Conference (PoCC) is the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools' commitment to equity and justice in teaching and learning. The mission of the conference is to provide a space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.

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