Rhode Island College, Office of College Communications and Marketing, News Release


CONTACT:     Gita Brown, 401-456-8465, gbrown@ric.edu


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Rhode Island College symposium, titled “Next Steps in Exploring Rhode Island’s African American History,” will bring together prominent members of the local community to discuss resources and strategies on how to teach a more comprehensive and inclusive history of African Americans in Rhode Island. 

Open to the public, this symposium will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Alger Hall 110, 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Providence; however, registration is required. Visit https://commerce.cashnet.com/RICNSPROD. Registration for students is $5.

Presenters include:

  • Stages of Freedom Executive Director Ray Rickman and Program Coordinator Robb Dimmick.
  • Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum Lorén Spears.
  • Trinity Repertory Company actor Joe Wilson Jr.
  • Cranston High School East social studies teacher Scott Berstein.
  • East Providence High School history teacher Richard Martin.
  • The Rhode Island Historical Society.


“Next Steps” is a follow-up to last year’s “First Steps” symposium and honors the work of the 1696 Historical Commission, which was charged by the State of Rhode Island General Assembly to develop an African American history curriculum encompassing the historical period from 1696 to 2015 for use in all Rhode Island public schools. The year 1696 commemorates the date when the first documented group of enslaved Africans arrived in Rhode Island.

Organized by RIC’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, “This year’s symposium will include a series of interactive lectures and discussions designed to provide educators with resources and strategies for integrating African American history into their instruction,” said Don Halquist, dean of FSEHD.

Presentations will include Rhode Island black history, current classroom curricula, a dramatic reading and the historical relationship between indigenous Rhode Islanders and those of African descent.

Rhode Island College serves approximately 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students through its five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Social Work, the School of Management and the School of Nursing. For more information, visit www.ric.edu.

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