The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Ad Hoc Committee was established by LLC President Joe Fisler in April 2021 to promote and expand learning opportunities that enable the LLC organization and membership to better understand, celebrate, learn from, support, and include diverse communities. (The Committee defines diversity broadly to include race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, language, geographical origin, gender and/or sexual orientation and physical disabilities.)
The Committee is developing an ongoing series of webinars about Providence’s initiatives to address current inequities in such areas as housing, health, public education, and policing. Check back here for more information.
Previous Speakers & Resources
Brown University, Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Associate Provost for Enrollment
Presented January 17, 2024
In July 2023, the United States Supreme Court struck down race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina as unconstitutional. The decision created a challenge for all colleges and universities: How to adopt admission policies that both comply with the Court's findings and continue working towards the institutions’ objectives of offering equitable opportunities for education and of creating more diverse student bodies? Logan Powell, Brown University's Associate Provost for Enrollment, discussed this question and other issues that institutions of higher education are currently facing.
Powell has served as Brown's Dean of Undergraduate Admission since 2016. In 2022, while retaining his position as Dean, he was also named. As Associate Provost, he assumed leadership of the newly established Enrollment Division, which includes College Admission, Financial Aid and the Registrar. Prior to joining Brown, Powell worked as the director of admission at Princeton University. Previously, he had served as senior associate dean of admission at Bowdoin College and senior admissions officer at Harvard University. He earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, and an A.B. from Bowdoin College.
The Misguided War on the SAT
Colleges have fled standardized tests, on the theory that they hurt diversity. That’s not what the research shows. nytimes.com
The College Essay Is Dead
Nobody is prepared for how AI will transform academia. theatlantic.com
Diversifying Society’s Leaders? The Determinants and Causal Effects of Admission to Highly Selective Private Colleges
Raj Chetty, David J. Deming, John Friedman, opportunityinsights.org
Valerie Tutson, Storyteller
Presented January 12, 2023
Over 100 people joined the conversation with Valerie to learn about the importance of arts and culture as an instrument for opening minds, bringing folks together and taking creative approaches to problem solving. We also heard about the African American Ambassadors Group's plans for working with the new administration to continue to advance Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations in 2023.
A graduate of Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in Storytelling as a Communications Art and a master’s degree in Theatre Arts, Valerie Tutson has been using stories to entertain and educate children and adults in schools, churches, libraries, festivals and conferences since 1991. Her compelling stories and songs, emphasizing African traditions and the African American experience, continue centuries of tradition of sharing and passing down community history through storytelling. She is a founding member of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS) and of Funda Fest, an annual Celebration of Black Storytelling that in 2023 marked its 25th anniversary. Connect with Valerie Tutson on Facebook.
For details about FundaFest, the RI Black Storytellers' Celebration of Storytelling: https://fundafest.org
For more info about the Rhode Island Black Storytellers: https://ribsfest.org
If you're interested in volunteering for RIBS: https://ribsfest.org/volunteer/.
Rose Weaver's Directory of Black Artists: https://blacklivesbiz.com/blackArtists/ri
To learn more about the African American Ambassador Group: aaagpvd.com.
A Matter of Truth, the thoroughly researched publication that was the first step in the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations initiative, was published by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and the 1696 Heritage Group. It documents the treatment of African-heritage people and indigenous peoples in Providence and Rhode Island across more than four centuries and continuing today and illustrates the resiliency of the African American community in the face of enslavement and racial discrimination. The book is available for purchase through the RI Black Heritage Society. A link to order a copy, as well as a link to download a copy, can be found on the Heritage Society’s home page: http://riblackheritage.org. In addition, copies are available at local libraries.
To read an LLC newsletter article about the City of Providence Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations initiative: https://www.lifelonglearningcollaborative.org/lark-vol-2-issue-11-october-2022/
Raymond Two Hawks Watson, J.D., M.C.P.
Presented October 26, 2022
Our thanks to Raymond Two Hawks Watson for his dynamic and thought-provoking discussion, in which he explained the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations process and provided his insights and perspectives.
Attendees asked for information about how to obtain the various reports mentioned during the webinar.
A Matter of Truth, was published by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and the 1696 Heritage Group. It documents the treatment of African-heritage people and indigenous peoples in Providence and Rhode Island across more than four centuries and continuing today and illustrates the resiliency of the African American community in the face of enslavement and racial discrimination. The book is available for purchase through the RI Black Heritage Society. A link to order a copy, as well as a link to download a copy, can be found on the Heritage Society’s home page: http://riblackheritage.org. In addition, copies are available at local libraries.
The report for the Reconciliation phase of the process, produced by The Providence Cultural Equity Initiative and Roger Williams University, is Truth-Telling and Reconciliation: Proposing a Framework for the City of Providence. Use this link to download a copy.
The report of the City of Providence’s Municipal Reparations Commission can be accessed here.
To learn more about the work of Raymond Watson’s organization The Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, visit http://provcei.org.
Coverage in the Providence Journal of the October 26, 2022 City Council’s vote on the $10 million reparations budget can be viewed here: https://lbus7do-cdn.newsmemory.com/?publink=2bc49775e_1348687.
The process included the development of a multimedia initiative to directly connect more individuals with the A Matter of Truth report, including a website featuring documentary interviews and reconciliation framework report. See it here: Providence Reconciliation Doc Trailer Mockup - YouTube.
Curt Columbus, Artistic Director, Trinity Rep
Michelle Cruz, Director of Community Engagement, Trinity Rep
Presented March 1, 2022
There are no greater fans of American playwright August Wilson (1945-2005) than members of Lifelong Learning Collaborative. The ten plays that Wilson wrote in his American Century Cycle (one play for every decade of the 20th century) represent the many experiences of African Americans from the period after the Civil War through the late 1990’s. LLC “students” have read, studied, and discussed these plays. And they have attended live performances of Wilson’s plays at Trinity Rep in Providence.
Curt Columbus, Trinity Rep Artistic Director, and Michelle Cruz, Director of Community Engagement at the theater, joined us for A Discussion with Trinity Rep: August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean to talk about Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Award winner, and Gem of the Ocean, “a lyrical masterpiece of myth and history.” (Trinity Rep brochure)