November 2018 Newsletter

Listening to Community Partners:
Key Takeaways from 2018 Focus Groups

In late summer 2018, we were pleased to have focus group participation by 21 of our Hartford-area community partners, representing 20 different non-profit organizations and neighborhood groups that had collaborated with Trinity students through various CHER programs (Community Learning, Community Service & Civic Engagement, Liberal Arts Action Lab, Trinfo.Cafe, and Urban Educational Initiatives). This report summarizes six key findings, from the positive direct benefits of community partnerships, to the need to improve two-way relationships between Hartford and Trinity, to mixed opinions about the overall impact of our work in the city. Read the full report here.

Apply for the Public Humanities Collaborative by January 31st

The Public Humanities Collaborative (PHC) is currently accepting research proposals from Hartford-area community partners and Trinity faculty members pursuing humanities-based projects who are interested in hiring 2-4 student researchers during Summer 2019. PHC a component of Trinity College’s Summer Research Program that is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which brings together students, faculty, and individuals and organizations in Hartford to work on public humanities: the study of how people interpret stories of our human experience. Learn more about past projects and how you can apply here.

Common Hour Recap: Homelessness, Affordable Housing, and Housing Segregation

Last week, the Department of Public Policy and Law, the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement, the Trinity Homelessness Project, and the Trinity Young Democratic Socialists organized a Common Hour event, “Addressing Homelessness and Affordable Housing in Connecticut” with guest speaker Erin Boggs of Open Communities Alliance. Erin discussed OCA’s work addressing the opportunity gap in Connecticut and her coalition work with partners around the state (such as the Christian Activities Council in Hartford). She also presented research on how homelessness and affordable housing policies reinforce the history of housing segregation and disinvestment in communities of color in our state. When Kyle Fields ‘21 of the Trinity Homelessness Project asked Erin, “What should we be doing to try and solve these huge problems?” Erin said, “One piece of this is to ensure there are affordable housing choices in higher opportunity areas, and the other piece is to do investments in the areas that are struggling.” Read the full blog post with a video recap here.

The Liberal Arts Action Lab Announces Digital Poster Fair December 10th and Spring 2019 Projects

Save the date for the Liberal Arts Action Lab Digital Poster Fair coming up on December 10th from 3:00-5:30PM at the Action Lab, 10 Constitution Plaza. Projects include:
  • Food Stories with the Connecticut Food System Alliance and Faculty Fellow Sarah Moon (University of Connecticut)

  • Opportunity Youth Project with Capital Workforce Partners and Faculty Fellow Alyson Spurgas

  • Homeownership Project with Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and Faculty Fellow Vanessa de la Torre (WNPR CT Public Radio)

  • Sustainable Foods Project with the City of Hartford’s Office of Sustainabilityand Faculty Fellow Christoph Geiss

In September, the Liberal Arts Action Lab received 20 proposals from Hartford community partners that were voted on by the Hartford resident advisory board. The Liberal Arts Action Lab has formed 4 research teams for Spring 2019. The four teams for Spring 2019 are as follows:

  • Culinary Careers Project with Billings Forge and Faculty Fellow India Weaver, Capital Community College

  • Student Success Project with the West Indian Foundation and Faculty Fellow Cleo Rolle, Capital Community College

  • Latinx Theater Project with Hartford Stage and Faculty Fellow Diana Aldrete, Trinity College

  • Riverside Recapture Project with Riverfront Recapture and Faculty Fellow Stefanie Chambers, Trinity College

To read the full project descriptions, read the blog post here.

HMTCA-Trinity Academic Collaboration

Proposals Due December 14th

Over the years, there has been increased interest for supporting innovative projects to benefit students at both HMTCA and Trinity College. All proposals must include and benefit both HMTCA and Trinity students. Preference will be given to projects that also include both HMTCA and Trinity faculty/staff, and include multicultural and/or multilingual education. View the proposal guidelines here and submit your short proposal to cover expenses (<1000 words) via e-mail to by December 14th, 2018.

Take a look back at the 29th Annual
Halloween on Vernon Street!

On the Sunday before Halloween, Trinfo.Cafe, Trinity Greek life organizations and cultural houses such as Umoja House and La Voz Latina opened their doors on Vernon Street to provide games, candy, and music for families in the Hartford area. Volunteers organized by ACES (the Annual Community Events Staff) and the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement showed families the circuit around Vernon Street, ending at the pumpkin patch at Trinfo Cafe. Check out our full blog post here.

Join us for the Cranksgiving Bike Race
on Saturday November 17th

This is an annual bike race collecting grocery items to benefit the Grace Episcopal Food Pantry in Hartford, 55 New Park Avenue. Bring $20 to purchase items, your bike, a helmet, a lock, friends, and a backpack to carry food items. If you do not have a bike, don’t worry! Bikes can be provided if we are notified ahead of time you will need one. See the Facebook event here and register ahead at

Don’t Miss This:
Community Open Mic Night on Thursday Nov. 29th!

Trinfo.Cafe, Iron Poets, and the Mill are collaborating to present a Community Open Mic Night! Come showcase your music, storytelling, comedy or poetry in a supportive environment. This event is FREE and open to the public. All are welcome. The crowd here wants you to do your thing and have a good time! Join us on Thursday 11/29, 6:00-8:00PM at Trinfo.Cafe, 1300 Broad Street. Sign up to perform upon arrival, or email to sign up in advance. Be sure to bring friend and share our Facebook event here.

Questions? Suggestions? Contact us at CHER.

Jack Dougherty, CHER Director

Erica Crowley, CHER Communications & Data Assistant

Joe Barber, Director, Community Service and Civic Engagement

Beatrice Alicea, Jones-Zimmermann Academic Mentoring Program Coordinator

Megan Brown, Director, Liberal Arts Action Lab

Morgan Finn, Communications and Program Assistant, Liberal Arts Action La

Robert Cotto Jr., Director, Urban Educational Initiative

Carlos Espinosa, Director, Trinfo.Cafe

Megan Faver Hartline, Associate Director, Office of Community Learning