About Us
About Us
Intersections

Our Mission

Intersections International leads people to unite across lines of difference in mutual pursuit of social justice, globally and locally. We create a safe space at the crossroads of some of our world’s most critical conflicts, engaging dissimilar communities in dialogue, service, advocacy and artistic expression. Together, we work toward a just world—united in diversity.

 

Our Vision

At Intersections International, we envision a time when our distinct identities no longer incite division, discrimination, destruction and despair.  We envision a just world—united in diversity, a world in which human differences serve to advance connection, equality, respect and abundance for all people.

 

Our Work

Our four interactive programs stand at the intersections of veterans and civilians, divided nations and peoples, artistic engagement and community values, and Christianity and LGBTQ equality. Intersections’ unique and proven methodology creates safe space for people to come together across these lines—in contrasting (and sometimes volatile) environments. We work with our participants to discover common ground and pursue justice through four modes of action: dialogue, service, advocacy and artistic expression.

From online conversations involving millions, to more intimate face-to-face dialogues, we bridge the gaps between divided individuals and communities. From arts events including theater and dance, to special community projects improving daily life for people too often unseen and underserved, we empower our participants to connect, honor differences, and work mutually for social justice. 

Intersections is committed to advancing our mission in a history always unfolding, increasingly changing, and ever more connected between global and local. With demand for our work rising steadily, we continually innovate new ways to achieve our vision, and embrace diversity in our programs, participants, stakeholders and staff.

 

Our Logo

The Intersections logo expresses humanity’s diversity in ways that honor both our individuality and the spaces where our lives intersect. The different ‘i’ components represent individuals of various cultures, religions, races and beliefs coming together while maintaining their uniqueness to form the most basic building structure: a square brick. This symbol expresses the critical need to cultivate diversity, unity, understanding and possibility in order to build a solid common ground for global social justice.

 

Our History

Founded in 2007, Intersections International is a multi-cultural, multi-faith, permanent initiative of the Collegiate Churches of New York, the oldest corporation in North America, dating back to 1628.

Our foundational story goes back more than a century, to a profound intersection of generosity and sacrifice.

On June 25, 1891, in Long Branch, New Jersey, 23-year-old Frederick Brokaw—son of wealthy Fifth Avenue Clothier Isaac Brokaw—drowned while trying to save the life of Annie Doyle, a young immigrant Irish servant. Frederick’s grieving parents wanted to honor the heroic act of their son, so they gave properties (called the Bethany Memorial Buildings) to Madison Avenue Reformed Church to house its outreach mission, caring for poor and immigrant communities on Manhattan’s East Side.

The church disbanded in 1917, but the Bethany buildings and assets were turned over to the Collegiate Church Corporation. By 1995, the Bethany congregation was no longer able to sustain its buildings and the Collegiate Church began the process of selling the land, which concluded in 2003.

The income from the sale of the Bethany buildings was used to create an endowment for a new ministry. After much discernment, the Collegiate Church decided that the world most needed a multi-cultural, multi-faith, global initiative committed to forging justice, reconciliation and peace. Intersections International was launched in September 2007, our name symbolically representing our work bringing people together across lines of difference in pursuit of global social justice.

 

Our Programs

Arts & Humanities: Uniting art and community to transform conflicts through original theatrical works, and providing leadership development to underserved populations.

Believe Out Loud: Uniting Christianity and LGBTQ justice through an online network empowering Christians to work for LGBTQ equality.

Global Peacemaking: Uniting divided nations and peoples through multi-cultural, interreligious action that builds relationships and dismantles extremist narratives.

Service Together: Uniting veterans and civilians by building community and providing mutual service to others.

 

Annual Reports

 

Gala Celebrations

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Mr. Murray Sams, Jr. is an Army Veteran with six years of service. He joined in 1964 and was stationed in Munich, Germany where he was with the Fifth Battalion, 32nd Armory as a gunner and tank commander. But before his heroic service, the 74 year old was working as an orderly at Hillman Hospital in Alabama on a Sunday morning 55 years ago.

 

It was 10:22am September 15, 1963, when the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL was bombed. Many were hurt, but four little girls lost their lives while in Sunday School. Denise McNair was just 11 years old. Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley were 14 years old. That infamous church bombing was one of the most horrific of the Civil Rights Movement and Mr. Sams was there when the girls were brought into the hospital.

 

It was no surprise the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was targeted. It had been a central meeting place for the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. Following the terrorist attack, it continued as a historic strong hold in the fight for racial justice. Members of the KKK Cahaba Group were eventually convicted in the deadly bombing. Herman Cash was suspected, but died before being prosecuted. Robert Chambliss was convicted in November 1977, Thomas Blanton was convicted in 2000 and Bobby Cherry was ultimately convicted in May 2002.

 

Four little girls died that day 55 years ago, as did two other teenagers when fires and rioting broke out throughout the city of Birmingham. This violent church bombing was a costly, yet pivotal moment in the civil rights struggle.

Mr. Murray Sams, Jr. is an Army Veteran with six years of service. He joined in 1964 and was stationed in Munich, Germany where he was with...

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