Racial Equality Still A Challenge In RI, Says NAACP Providence Director

Jan 19, 2015

Elected leaders and state officials celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with events across the state.  Many will attend a celebration at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Providence this afternoon.  NAACP Providence director Jim Vincent said he wants to see those leaders hire more staff of color.  “25 percent of Rhode Island is communities of color.  Those staffs don’t have to exactly mirror the population that, but they should somewhat, so that people can see demonstrated leadership; we know that you’re here, we hear you, and we want to work on all these problems together. 

Protests in Providence following a grand jury decision not to convict a police officer in Missouri who shot an unarmed black man.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Vincent said 2024 saw a series of racially charged events.   The shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in Ferguson Missouri ignited protests across the country, including in Providence. Vincent said the protest in Providence proved that communities can still come together.  “During the demonstrations in Providence you saw a lot of white people that were there, holding up signs that said ‘Black Lives Matter,’ so people have not gone into their separate corners alltogether.”   

Vincent said he wants to see more members of minority communities voice their opinions, both in public forums, and in the voting booths.

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