richard walton

The annual Red Bandana awards event, which honors the legacy of social activist and journalist Richard Walton, drew a huge crowd yesterday to Nick-a-Nees in Providence’s Jewelry District for an afternoon of music, fellowship and honors.

Winners of the Red Bandana awards this year were given to Providence College Professor Eric Hirsh for his work with the homeless and to the workers at the Renaissance Hotel who have been organizing for a union.

The Red Bandana Fund, which honors the legacy of social activist and journalist Richard Walton, has chosen to bestow the annual Red Bandana awards to Providence College Professor Eric Hirsch and workers at the Renaissance Hotel in Providence.

Hirsch, a sociology prosessor, is that rare academic who translates his research into action. A tireless advocate for the poor and homeless, Hirsch has worked with the RI Coalition for the Homeless, in the classroom and at the Rhode Island Statehouse, helping the less fortunate in our community.

It’s that time of year again: The Red Bandana Committee seeks nominations for the Red Bandana Award, given annually to a Rhode Islander who embodies the spirit and committed work of longtime activist Richard Walton.

Richard Walton was a huge presence in our small state for more than a half century. A writer, journalist, teacher and political activist, Walton, of Warwick, was a leader in so many campaigns for peace and social justice that even his friends and fellow activists could barely keep count.

Richard Walton was an unforgettable presence for decades in our cozy state. An activist, he was in the forefront of so many campaigns for social justice and peace during his 84 years on this earth that even his friends couldn’t do a full accounting. A graduate of Brown in the 1950s, at a time when most of his WASP classmates went into banking, law or joined the CIA, Richard took the path less traveled. He became a reporter for the Providence Journal, then worked in New York newspapering during the Golden Age of print journalism.