Trinity Church Wall Street Joins Urgent Call For Racial Justice

Published on June 24, 2020, 4:25 pm
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Trinity Church Wall Street has awarded nearly $7 million in grants to 57 organizations dedicated to ending systemic racism in New York City, and offering alternative models for a new vision of how New Yorkers can reach their potential and thrive. 

The 57 grants, approved by Trinity’s Vestry, and announced today range from $50,000 to $300,000 and total $6.86 million, and is Trinity’s largest grant cycle ever. The grantees are working on a range of projects, including ending the school-to-prison pipeline, fighting to end the racist practice of cash bail, re-imagining the city’s approach to affordable housing and lowering the number of households experiencing housing insecurity. 

“Trinity established racial justice and homelessness as our New York City funding priorities last year.  Now CoViD-19 is magnifying the inequities in our city – the very inequities that our grants are designed to address,” said the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Priest-in-Charge and Vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street. “The pandemic has strengthened Trinity’s calling and commitment to end the cycles of mass homelessness and mass incarceration.”

Of the grants, $500,000 are specifically designated for Rikers Island re-entry support programs.  “CoViD-19 has further intensified the challenges faced by people being released from jails and prisons, who lack access to housing and other supports,” said Neill Coleman, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Trinity. “The pandemic is magnifying the pernicious interconnection between cycles of incarceration and homelessness. These connected cycles were created – and continue to be driven – by systemic racism, and at this moment of national uprising against racism, we hope Trinity’s support can break these cycles and advance new visions and just alternatives that can heal our city.”

The five grantees in this area – Exodus Transitional Community, Brooklyn Defender Services, Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid Society, and Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) – are working to bail people out of Rikers and provide housing, medication, food, and other services to recently released individuals. During the pandemic, BAJI has provided vital support services for individuals leaving Rikers, including two-week hotel stays that allow for quarantining before returning home.

Trinity also funded 32 grantees whose work centers on racial justice, including 10 grants that are for a large collaborative of organizations working to scale restorative justice as a survivor-led alternative to the criminal legal system. “We are pleased to support organizations whose work is critical to disrupt the cycles of incarceration. It is only through community organizing, advocacy, and alternative models that we can end the perpetual punishment of Black and brown New Yorkers, and enable them to access the three keys to upward mobility: housing, education, and employment” said Susan Shah, Managing Director for Racial Justice at Trinity.

Shah cited grantees such as Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, whose work supports the premise that access to college in prisons leads to greater success and lower recidivism for incarcerated people, and Alliance for Quality Education, which organizes parents to advocate for ending to policies that fuel the “school-to-prison-pipeline” and racial inequality in New York’s public schools.

Trinity also provided 19 grants as part of its housing and homelessness initiative, including 17 grantees that are being funded by Trinity for the first time. “Trinity is proud to support organizations that directly work with people facing housing insecurity in New York City. The grants in this cycle focus on three areas: promoting efforts to increase low-income housing and support homelessness prevention; supporting organizations helping women with justice-system involvement; and aiding organizations engaged in advocacy and policy.” said Beatriz de la Torre, Trinity’s Managing Director for Housing & Homelessness.

Several of these grants – including those for Hour Children, Providence House, and The Ladies Hope Ministry – focus specifically on supporting women coming out of Rikers Island through a gender responsive care model catering to women who have experienced trauma. The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation partnered with Trinity to support these essential services through a $1 million grant to Trinity.

The grantees are:

These grants are in addition nearly $2.5 million in emergency grants and loans Trinity awarded in April to help local nonprofits assist vulnerable New Yorkers during the pandemic. Trinity also awarded $1.5 million in emergency CoViD-19 grants to international organizations in June and a further $956,000 in grants to support financial capacity building in churches in Africa and South America.

About Trinity Church Wall Street

Now in its fourth century, Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish of more than 1,200 members that seeks to serve and heal the world by building neighborhoods that live Gospel truths, generations of faithful leaders, and sustainable communities. The parish is guided by its core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. Members come from the five boroughs of New York City and surrounding areas to form a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse congregation. More than 20 worship services are offered every week at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission, and online at The parish welcomes approximately 2 million visitors per year.


Trinity Church Wall Street
75 Broadway,
Manhattan, NY 10006

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