The Tracing Center at the 77th Episcopal General Convention

Posted July 1st, 2012 by
Category: News and Announcements Tags: ,

The Tracing Center and Traces of the Trade will be at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, July 3-10, in Indianapolis.

The Tracing Center will have a booth in the exhibition hall, with a variety of informational materials and staff to talk with about the film, our programming, and any questions or concerns you’d like to discuss. Look for us in booth 731 (by the food service area in the middle of the hall).

Our Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, will also be screened three times at General Convention, on July 5, July 6, and July 9.

The film follows ten descendants of the DeWolf family of Bristol, R.I., the nation’s leading slave-trading family, as they retrace the triangle trade to uncover their family’s hidden history and confront the legacy of that history today.

The DeWolf family has deep roots in the Episcopal Church. The Rt. Rev. James DeWolf Perry, 18th presiding bishop, was the great-great-grandson of James DeWolf, the leading slave-trader in the nation’s history, and three of his descendants appear throughout Traces of the Trade.

The documentary also includes scenes at General Convention in 2006, where testimony from the DeWolf family helped to inspire passage of resolutions on acknowledging and addressing the Church’s historic complicity in slavery and the slave trade.

The Tracing Center offers a variety of programs based on Traces of the Trade, from screenings and facilitated dialogues with DeWolf family members to anti-racism workshops, professional development seminars, guest sermons, programs for churches, schools, and the general public on the history and legacy of slavery and race, and workshops on uncovering local church ties to slavery.

The Episcopal Church, through the Executive Council’s Anti-Racism Committee, the Presiding Bishop, and the President of the House of Deputies, has “enthusiastically” endorsed the use of Traces of the Trade, and the programming offered with it, as a “a realistic and manageable way to begin the very difficult work of responding to Resolution A-143,” calling on parishes and dioceses to explore their historic ties to slavery and the lasting effects of the slave trade.

The anti-racism committee has especially commended the facilitation of Constance and Dain Perry, who have taken leadership in bringing the film to parishes and dioceses within the Episcopal Church. Dain appears throughout the film as one of the ten DeWolf descendants and a grandson of Bishop Perry; Constance, who is married to Dain, is a descendant of slaves. They and other DeWolf family members now regularly speak at screenings of the film, and other programs based on it, across the country.

For more information, please contact info (at) or visit us in the exhibition hall.

One Response to “The Tracing Center at the 77th Episcopal General Convention”

  1. Phyllis Sims Says:

    I look forward to Kristin Gallas' presentation in Philadelphia March 1st

    Phyllis Sims, Independent Curator and Historian

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