March 16-17, 2022

Organized by Trinity’s Global Affairs faculty, with grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this engaging two-day symposium was the first signature event of Trinity’s 125th Anniversary. National and international speakers, including Trinity alumnae, were joined by faculty and students to explore a range of topics looking at race and racism, both in the U.S. and globally. All of the sessions were in person and on Zoom, and recordings of the sessions are below.

Symposium on Global Perspectives on Race and Racism

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Welcome and Keynote (video)

Keynote: Diversity in Defense, Development and Diplomacy (video)

Nicole Breland Aandahl, Senior Vice President for People and Culture, Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ms. Aandahl has served as a thought leader on diversity and inclusion throughout her international affairs and legal career. She spoke about her experience in foreign service and how the lack of diversity in U.S. foreign affairs is detrimental to our approach to the world. The People and Culture initiative that she leads at CSIS is dedicated to elevating diverse voices and perspectives to lead to more ideas, more innovation, and more robust policy solutions.

Rhythms, Roots, and Resistance in the Africana World (video)

Using global music to explore the histories of imperialism, migration, and globalization. Panel moderated by Dr. Kimberly Monroe, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs.

Food, Hospitality, Entrepreneurship and Building Intercultural Community (video)

Andy Shallal, CEO of Busboys and Poets, spoke about his journey as an Iraqi immigrant and what led him to open a restaurant focused on building inter-racial and cultural community through food and hospitality. Hosted by Dr. Joshua Wright, Associate Professor of Global Affairs.

Elites, Violence and Institutional Racism in Latin America (video)

Moderated by Dr. Mercedez Callenes, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs.

Religion and Diplomacy (video)

Paul Monterio, former Deputy Director for Religious Affairs for President Obama. He served as a liaison to religious and secular belief communities as well as ethnic groups, including Arab American and Afghan American groups. In December 2021, President Biden nominated him to serve as Director of the Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice.

The Challenge of Race for Kanye West and Other Black Celebrities (video)

Dr. Joshua Wright, Associate Professor of Global Affairs, Trinity, discussed his new book: “’Wake Up, Mr. West’: Kanye West and the Double Consciousness of Black Celebrity.” His biography examines the hip-hop icon’s career and controversies. Dr. Wright is a scholar of Black celebrities and has written extensively on this and other topics as well as hosting his own podcast on NPR. In a recent interview about his book, Dr. Wright noted, “I wanted to use Kanye’s career and life as a case study on the Black celebrity in America. I hope that people can use this book to engage in deeper dialogues and conversations on race, class, fame, identity, and what it means to be an exceptional Black man or woman in a white-centric American society.” Dr. Jamal Watson, director of Trinity’s Strategic Communications and Public Relations program and a renowned journalist, interviewed Dr. Wright.

Thursday March 17, 2022

Environmental Justice In the World and At Home (video)

Women of Color in Foreign Policy (video)

  • Mercy Ogutu ’23, Moderator
  • Nomsa Ndongwe, a former diplomat with the Zimbabwe UN Permanent Mission and founder of the West Coast chapter of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, spoke about the importance of getting more women of color into foreign policy and how to do it.

Trinity Alumnae in Diplomacy and International Service (video)

Trinity alumnae shared their perspectives on race and racism in diplomacy and international affairs:

African Americans and Africa: Race in a Global Context (video)

The program continued with several interactive events in the afternoon and evening, including: 

  • Student Research Poster Presentations 
  • Virtual Career Fair with a focus on international career fields
  • Global Music Party
  • Zoom Film Night: Screening of a film on human trafficking in Vietnam with a discussion by Dr. Joshua Wright.

Trinity Media Contact: Ann Pauley,, 202-884-9725