Imagine Providence

Hear the voices of people boldly and creatively tackling social issues in Providence and explore how you can be part of the story.

  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    Embracing Martin Luther King's Beloved Community, the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence (ISPN) cultivates peaceful conflict resolution, particulrarly around group/gang-related violence. ISPN's streetworkers have a positive presence in Providence neighborhoods, and regularly visit hospitals to offer support for victims of violence. In addition, ISPN facilitates nonviolence workshops for everyone in the Providence community, including police officers, students, and inmates.

    As a Senior Streetworker in his own neighborhood, Jose Rodriguez shares how he spreads the values of the Institute within the Providence community.

    Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    Started by youth for youth, Youth in Action (YIA) gives a powerful voice to youth in Providence. By combining leadership training and skill building with social change, Youth in Action has built a strong community of young leaders equipped with the tools to create the community they envision. As evident in the Students Constructing Classrooms program, where students work with future teachers at Roger William University, youth are empowered to make the educational systems intended for them more responsive to their needs.

    Maiyah Gamble Rivers, YIA alumna, and Wila Matos, a MET high school student currently on YIA's board, describe the power of belonging to the YIA community.

    Youth in Action
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    With cultivating a community at the heart of its work, the African Alliance of Rhode Island (AARI) strives to improve the quality of life for Africans in Providence while sharing African culture with residents all over Providence. At farmers' markets you can find all kinds of African vegetables grown by immigrant and refugee farmers; and the urban agriculture initiatives of AARI provide jobs for members of the African community and creates access to African foods. In addition to sharing and celebrating African food and promoting health within the African community, the AARI collaborates with offices and organizations in Providence and across Rhode Island to expand the impact of its efforts.

    JR Songwe, a board member of AARI, shares how being a part of AARI has shaped his experience and the experience of other Africans in the Providence community.

    African Alliance of Rhode Island
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    Captured in its name, OpenDoors strives for a community across Rhode Island welcoming and accepting of individuals regardless of their backgrounds. OpenDoors works with incarcerated indivudals prior to their release to develop a discharge plan and connects formerly incarcerated individuals with resources necessary for success to integrate these indivduals into the community. In addition to their efforts to reduce recidivism rates, OpenDoors catalyzes policy change to shape a state more accessible for those formerly incarcerated.

    Executive Director Sol Rodriguez describes how hard work has opened up opportunities and transformed the lives of formerly incarcerated individuals in Rhode Island.

    OpenDoors
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    With Narragansett Bay at the heart of its mission, Save the Bay integrates education, science, and policy, engaging community members of all ages to take ownership over the 256 miles of coastline in our backyard. Since 1970, Save the Bay's dedicated team have restored Narragansett Bay to health, creating numerous economic and recreational opportunities including an annual swim across Naragansett Bay and an interactive marine exploration center. Hosting regular coastal cleanups, providing educational programming in urban schools, monitoring the Bay, and advocating for Bay-friendly policies allow Save the Bay to continue protecting the Ocean State.

    Executive Director Jonathan Stone shares how Save the Bay's ecosystem-based approach to transforming Narragansett Bay has had tangible results since his daily rowing practices in the Bay as a member of Brown's crew team.

    Save the Bay
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    When artist Holly Ewald facilitated a community redesign of signs at Mashapaug Pond to say it was sick, she had no idea it would turn into a fully-fledged movement. UPP Arts weaves art, science, and activism together to raise awarness about environmental health. In addition to hosting an annual celebratory parade drawing people from all parts of Providence outfitted in all kinds of crazy costumes, UPP Arts educates students and residents throughout the year about pollution urban ponds.

    Artistic Director Holly Ewald paints a vivid picture of UPP Arts, telling its story through snapshots of the procession.

    UPP Arts
  • September 2, 2014
    Imagine:

    Since its origin almost three decades ago with five people sitting around a kitchen table, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) has grown into a powerful direct action organization. DARE provides its members with a powerful voice to tackle issue directly impacting them, including education, incarceration, and health care. DARE creates a community of people within Providence in which individuals can join together to campaign on behalf of each other.

    Vice-Chairperson Sheila Wilhelm tells the story of how DARE has successfully advanced the agenda of Providence residents through effective, grassroots efforts.

    DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality)