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


The Choice

A powerful, moving memoir – and a practical guide to healing – written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, an eminent psychologist whose own experiences as a Holocaust survivor help her treat patients and allow them to escape the prisons of their minds. Edith Eger was 16 years old when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an interment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. Years after she was liberated from the concentration camps, Edie went back to college to study psychology. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small. Dr. Eger has counseled veterans who have PTSD, abused women, and many others who learned that they, too, can choose to forgive, find resilience, and move forward. She frequently lectures on the power of love and healing. The Choice weaves Eger's personal story with case-studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance. Eger's message is powerful and meaningful: "Your pain matters and is worth healing: You can choose to be joyful and free."

New Kid

New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft. Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself? This middle-grade graphic novel is an excellent choice for tween readers. New Kid is a selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List and winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature.

The Day the World Came to Town

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill. The passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry, and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours. While security checked all of the baggage, the townspeople prepared a feast for the visitors. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. A middle school provided showers and access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news. Many passengers developed friendships with Gander residents in those four days that they expect to last a lifetime. To show their gratitude after returning home, passengers set up scholarship funds for the children of Gander and donated computers to the schools. The Day the World Came to Town recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and are an example of humanity and goodwill.

The Person You Mean to Be

Many of us believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion, but how do we stand up for those values in our turbulent world? The Person You Mean to Be is the smart, "semi-bold" person's guide to fighting for your beliefs. Author Dolly Chugh reveals the surprising causes of inequality, grounded in the "psychology of good people." Using her research in unconscious bias, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines, Chugh offers practical tools to effectively talk politics with family, be a better colleague to people who don't look like you and avoid being a well-intentioned barrier to equality. To be the person we mean to be, we must start with a look at ourselves. She argues that the only way to be on the right side of history is to be a good-ish – rather than good – person. Good-ish people are constantly growing. Second, she helps you find your "ordinary privilege" – the part of your identity you take for granted, such as race for a white person, sexual orientation for a straight person, gender for a man, or education for a college graduate. Chugh guides us on how, when, and whom to engage (and not engage) within your workplaces, homes, and communities. Her science-based approach is a method any of us can put to use in all parts of our life. Whether you are a long-time activist or new to the fight, you can start from where you are. Through the compelling stories Dolly shares and the surprising science she reports, she guides each of us closer to being the person we mean to be.

Think Again

In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good instead of ideas that make us think hard. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds – and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You'll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, and a vaccine whisperer convinces concerned parents to immunize their children. Think Again reveals that we don't have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It's an invitation to let go of views that no longer serve us well and prize mental flexibility over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don't know is wisdom.



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. 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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