The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Rector sits on a wooden bench in the Trinity Churchyard. He has closely cropped hair, round, horn-rimmed glasses and is wearing a clerical collar under a black jacket.
The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Rector

A Letter From Fr. Phil on Juneteenth

Dear Trinity Family,

This is a time of great and increasing need in our neighborhood, and across the world. Our faith calls us to use our gifts to help all people, advancing equity and justice in the here and now—and hopefully for generations to come.

This week, Trinity has just announced its latest round of grants for the first half of 2023, awarding more than $22 million to grantees in the United States and abroad who are working in areas that make a difference in people’s lives and advance Trinity’s strategic mission areas: racial justice, housing and homelessness, leadership development, and mission real estate development, with an emphasis on youth and mental health.

We are grateful to be able to make these strategic investments in the work of our remarkable grantee partners, and in work that will have a direct impact on people’s lives.

Given that today is Juneteenth, I wanted to bring your attention to a particular aspect of these grants with some outstanding facts and figures. In the past five years, that is, since 2019, Trinity has provided $73 million in grants to 160 organizations that support Black communities in New York City and the United States.

In 2022 alone, approximately $27.5 million (48%) of our grantmaking went to organizations supporting Black communities, whether through direct support or advocacy on issues disproportionately affecting our Black neighbors. So far in 2023, Trinity has granted $11 million to organizations that work with Black communities, many of which are renewals of grants from previous cycles to provide continuous investment in this important work.

Our impact is seen across all our philanthropic initiatives, but particularly those that focus on our neighborhood here in New York City. While our Racial Justice initiative considers the needs of all of NYC’s communities of color, most grants center the needs of Black communities. This is also true of our Housing and Homelessness grants. The need is clear: 56% of people sleeping in the City’s shelter system are Black, compared to 24% of the City’s population overall.  

As one of my favorite authors and theologians, Thomas Merton, has said, “We are not all weak in the same spots, and so we supplement and complete one another, each one making up in himself for the lack in another.” So, too, do we seek to meet the needs we see in the world, supporting our neighbors around us, and filling in the gaps between the way things are and the way things are meant to be in God’s beloved community.



Subscribe for Trinity Updates