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Part proof of concept and part project documentation, this web portal is just one product of one phase of a larger initiative begun on July 15, 2020, when Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, joined by members of the African American Ambassador Group and community, committed the City of Providence to a process of Truth, Reconciliation, and municipal Reparations for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) in the City.

The truth-telling phase of this initiative culminated in March 2021, with the publication of the 1696 Heritage Group and Rhode Island Black Heritage Society’s truth-telling report, A Matter of Truth: The Struggle for African Heritage & Indigenous People Equal Rights in Providence, Rhode Island (1620-2020).

Between July 2021 and January 2022, our team of community leaders, artists, scholars, and students (led by Roger Williams University and the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative) developed and piloted a reconciliation framework grounded in the findings of the truth-telling report and enriched by the stories and perspectives of African heritage and Indigenous residents with generational familial and community connections to the four neighborhoods of Fox Point, Lippitt Hill, Upper South Providence, and West Elmwood, and to the mid-twentieth century urban redevelopment projects that A Matter of Truth documents as having occurred there.

See our Report page for a fuller account of how we developed and piloted a reconciliation framework for the City of Providence through a process that involved distributing a survey, identifying lead stakeholders, conducting interviews, and producing a proposal accompanied by several multimedia proofs of concept for how we propose to engage the community.

See our Multimedia page to access several other proofs of concept including our trailer for the documentary we propose to produce, a promo video for our proposed community conversations, and public art installation designs with mockup augmented reality features. Then check out our Map and Submit pages for web design concepts that will enable users to access and upload stories and perspectives that we would integrate into our multimedia presentations as contributions to an ongoing conversation around truth, reconciliation, and reparations in the City of Providence.

For more information, contact Brian Hendrickson, Asstant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition at Roger Williams University, at bhendrickson[at]rwu[dot]edu.

Pow Wow Algonquin Indian Indian Council at Chief Perrys Farm September 29, 1928 Image Caption: Photograph reads “Pow Wow Algonquin Indian Indian Council at Chief Perrys Farm September 29, 1928.” The National Algonquin Indian Council was a pan-Indian organization founded in 1920s New England by Narragansett chief Alfred C. A. Perry, among others.