Internal Policy Reform


The Internal Policy Sub-Group reviews, assesses and advocates for progressive policy reform that ensures equal opportunity for African Americans in the City of Providence. We use quantitative data and current outcomes to lobby for changes that promote social and economic justice and increased engagement for African Americans.


    • We envision a future where all city of Providence and State of Rhode Island policies and procedures represent, reflect, improve and mobilize the socio-economic, racial, and cultural life of African Americans.
    • Where African Americans have a political voice, cultural recognition and a sense of place in Rhode Island;
    • Where African Americans are empowered in decision-making that impacts our lives, and where our concerns and thought leadership are included and reflected in city and state policies.
    • Where there is transparent, engaged, and bold policy reform led by the African American community that creates a socially and racially-just society for all.
    • Ultimately, we seek to ensure equal opportunity, social and economic justice as well as full citizenship and representation for African- Americans in the City of Providence and throughout the State of Rhode Island.


    • The Internal Policy Sub-Group will review, assess and advocate for progressive policy reform that ensures equal opportunity for African Americans in the City of Providence.
    • We will lobby to change existing policies that disenfranchise African Americans as well as establish and champion new policies that promote social and economic justice for African- Americans in the City of Providence.
    • We will engage African Americans, through information gathering and sharing, in the establishment and review of policies that impact our lives and community.
    • We will hold citizens and our city government accountable in providing information, resources, and funding to support the effective establishment and implementation of policies.
    • We will review the impact of policies through quantitative data and individual narratives.


      • Change policies and procedures
      • Ensure equal opportunity and appropriate representation of all citizens
      • Assess policies and procedures
      • Advocate for progress change to structures that have disenfranchised neighborhoods and communities
      • Lobby for a cultural recognition and sense of place for African Americans
      • Identify and implement sustainable strategies that will improve and mobilize the socio-economic, racial and cultural life of African Americans
      • Identify immediate policy gaps that will create tangible change in the circumstances of the African American Community, and bring it to the attention of city and State authorities
      • Consult with appropriate stakeholders, and engage African Americans in Rhode Island in decision-making that impacts their lives
      • Engage in effective information sharing
      • Measure the impact of policy through a focus on individuals, using oral histories [as well as qualitative + quantitative data] – to tell their stories and the story of the city of Providence
      • Make recommendations in current policy as well as establish new policies and procedures to empower and advance the citizenry of Providence, the community and provide thought leadership for change within the state of Rhode Island
      • Promote full citizenship for African Americans in Rhode Island as a socially and racially progressive State through successful policy reform
      • To lobby for a cultural recognition and sense of place for African Americans
      • Be a beacon which sheds light on internal policy leading to equality and equity–including but not limited to issues surrounding access, employment, equal representation, education and all economic and social justice – with thought leadership that is adopted into the larger practices the state of Rhode Island
      • Expansion and utilization of the Mayoral fellowship program.  The internal policy group recognizes fellowships and internships as one of the best gateways to City employment for African American applicants

      The Internal Policy Sub-Group welcomes other sub-groups to attend weekly meetings. Internal Policy is committed to supporting other sub-groups with their ideas and projects. 

      Dialogue with The Youth Voice Sub-Group provided them with an opportunity to share their ideas and provided them with feedback on how to build and expand their sub-group.

      Internal Policy Subgroup Members

      • Janice Falconer – ImpactRI / Internal Policy Community Leader
      • J’Juan Wilson – Youth Empowerment Society JJUANtheBRAND™ / Internal Policy Community Leader
      • Lanre (Lanre) Ajakaiye – Team Providence Travel Boys The official RIYBA travel team for the City of Providence- R.I.S.E Women’s Leadership Conference/ Internal Policy Thought Leader
      • Nicole Purcell – Community Member/ Internal Policy Thought Leader/Administrator
      • Aaron Easter-Gardner – City of Providence Employee
      • Annette Alves – Federal Hill House
      • Anastacia Williams- State Representative
      • Hume Johnson – Roger Williams University
      • Jim Vincent – NAACP
      • Nicole Tingle – NAACP
      • Nkoli Onye – Board Member, OASIS African Cultural Center Vice President, Nigerian Community of Rhode Island PRO, Mgbako Anambra of Rhode Island Principal, Gilbert Stuart Middle School
      • Regina Clement– Manager of Family Preservation
      • Sal Monteiro – Nonviolence Institute
      • Sandra Miller – Co- founder Shekinah Family Worship Center-Founder of “Daughters of Naomi” Mentoring Network
      • Shawndell Burney-Speaks – African American Ambassador Group Organizer
      • Sherrod Jones – Apostle of Judah Multicultural Worship Center
      • Wanda Brown – College Unbound
      • Zuli Vidal – College Unbound
      • Alexandrea Gonzalez, Founder/CEO  Gather Together United As 1(GTUA1)

      Staff Support:

      Shawndell Burney-Speaks, LaJuan Allen and Olayinka Oredugba

      Our AAAG Members

      Alejandra De Paz, City Staff
      Anjel Newman - AS220
      Annette Alves – Federal Hill House
      Anthony Carrion – Dean of Students, Nowell Leadership Academy
      Brooke Waldron - Indigenous Community member
      Caterina Cable – Community member
      Cedric Huntley – Executive Director, Nonviolence Institute
      Celeste Johnson – Community member
      Chase Baptista – Providence Public School District
      Charles Newton – Administrator, State of RI
      Cheryl Galloway – The MET School
      Cheryl Isom-Wie – Director, The MET School, Coordinator, Consultant and facilitator at STEM Based Education
      Corey Brown – Providence Police Officer, Community Mentor, WE GOT NEXT
      Cris Potter – Founder, Red Rooster Solutions
      Crisolita Figueiredo – Community and Political Activist
      Deborah Harris – D.A.R.E
      Denise Debarros - Community Advocate
      Desmond Ranglin - JARI
      DJ Rukiz – The Juice 88.9 online radio
      Doug Victor – South Side Community Land Trust
      Dr. Adama Brown-Hathaway - UWRI
      Dr. Dannie Ritchie - MD, MPH Founder, Community Health Innovations of Rhode Island

      Dwayne Boo Hackney - It's on US/ No More Murder
      Elaina Scorpio - Tenant Network RI

      Elise Swearingen - Project Manager, Community Advocate
      Enrique Sanchez – BLM RI PAC, Reclaim RI, Prov DSA, Rhode Island Socialists, PSL RI
      Georgina Sarpong – Co-owner,Abundance Farms, Black Lives Biz
      Gina Fisher-Cook - State of RI Traffic Tribunal, Community Advocate
      Dr. Hume Johnson -CEO and Brand Strategy Partner at Hume Johnson Consulting LLC,RWU
      Jacob Brier - Historian
      James Monteiro - Reentry Campus Program
      James Vincent - NAACP
      Jamiere Wilson - Artist


      Jennifer Hopgood - Family Nurse Practitioner & adjunct professor at Simmons University
      Jessica Brown - RI School of Design, Jessica Brown Designs
      Jessica Vega – City Counsel Ward 5, Central Falls
      Joseph Bruce – Artist
      Joshua Avila - City Staff
      Julius Kolawole - African Alliance
      Justin Russillo - Realtor at Phipps Realty, Community Advocate
      k. funmilayo aileru- studio artist and freelance designer
      Kathleen Egersheim – Awakening Church
      Keith Stokes – Rhode Island Black Heritage Society/1696 Heritage Group
      Kenya Fullen – Dept of human services
      Kendra Ault – College Unbound
      Kenia Richards – Clinical Therapist, Community member
      Kie Hamrick – Community member
      Latifat Odetunde - Youth Advocate
      Marchae Belcher – Community member
      Marco McWilliams -Founder PBSS, Center for Reconciliation, the Swearer Center Brown University, College Unbound
      Marijoan Bull

      Mary Beth Meehan - Photographer, Writer and Educator
      Meko Lincoln - Amos House

      Michael Shepherd – City of Providence Staff
      Nicole da Cruz - Rhode Island School of Design
      Pamela Hughes – Mount Hope Cowboys
      Regina Clement – Delta Sigma Theta-Prov Alum
      Rochanda Delves- Community member
      Sade Lee – Community membe
      Sharon Morris – Omni Development Corporation
      Shirley Hood- Destiny Productions
      Sonia Thomas – Dunamis Synergy, West Elmwood Housing Development Corp
      Taritha Hill-Cooper – Simply Mom, Inc
      Teresa Guaba Community member
      Terri Wright- DARE

      Theresa Guzmán Stokes – Rhode Island Black Heritage Society/1696 Heritage Group
      Tiarra Mack – RI State Senate District 6
      Wayne Montague – WINN Residential

      Get Involved - join us today!