Rhode Island Slave History Medallion

Rhode Island Slave History Medallions in Newport receives $10K grant from the Rhode Island Foundation

A Newport nonprofit is among the nonprofits that will share $105,000 in grants from the Rhode Island Foundation through its Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund. Created in 2007, the fund supports the needs of the state’s Black community.

“We’re grateful for the donors, community advisors and nonprofit partners that join us in addressing the underlying causes of inequity. As COVID-19 has underscored, it is clearer than ever that we must work together to eliminate disparities and close achievement gaps in order to promote a better future for all Rhode Islanders,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO.

The fund supports nonprofits that offer youth development and mentoring, promote the history and achievements of Blacks in Rhode Island, preserve the culture of the Black community and strive to uplift low-income Black Rhode Islanders.

Rhode Island Slave History Medallions in Newport received $10,000 to expand its Marking the Landscape Statewide program. The organization is working on installing plaques commemorating the role of slavery in Rhode Island’s history. In 2022, markers will be mounted at the former William Ellery Channing House in Newport’s Historic Hill, Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich, Casey Farm in Saunderstown and the Saylesville Quaker Meeting House in Lincoln.

“Our medallions tell the rarely heard stories of enslaved people and shed light on the historic role they played in our state’s economic and cultural development. Each marker carries QR code technology that when scanned connects viewers to a documented history of that site, directly from our digital archive. We work in partnership with community sites to mount the bronze medallion and present multicultural, educational programs that acknowledge and celebrate this history and inspire racial healing today.” said Charles Roberts, RISHM founder and executive director.

The other recipients include College Visions, which received $5,000 for its Increasing College Access Opportunities for Males of Color Program; the Mt. Hope Learning Center, which received $5,000 to provide educational supports and enrichments; and Rhode Island Black Storytellers, which received $10,000 to support its Black Stories: FUNDA Fest and a Black tennis history program that will be offered in partnership with the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.

The fund also offers scholarships for Black students who are pursuing or advancing a career in health care in college or a technical school. Last year, the fund awarded $55,300 to 24 recipients. The deadline to apply for 2022 scholarship assistance is April 18.

The Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund is just one of the grant programs the Foundation uses to support nonprofits that serve Rhode Island’s community of color. Recent initiatives include creating a capacity-building program to support nonprofits led by Asian, Black, Latino or Hispanic, Indigenous or multi-racial executive directors or other decision-makers within an organization; and launching a grant program to help nonprofits create anti-racist organizational cultures.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information about applying for a Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund grant or scholarship, visit the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund.



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