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Rhode Island Foundation names 31 people to Equity Leadership Initiative class

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro

Managing Editor

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The Rhode Island Foundation recently selected 31 people for their second Equity Leadership Initiative class. The goal of this initiative is to build a pipeline of multi-racial leaders throughout the state. This cohort will last for a year, and will work toward social justice and racial equality for all residents of Rhode Island. One way they will achieve this is by working with existing leaders, especially leaders of color, to aid them in their tenure. By working to help eliminate disparities, this initiative can help in providing a solid foundation to local state leaders, and in doing so, will aid in the overall health and wealth of the people and economy of Rhode Island.

This specific program is just one of the many ways that the state of Rhode Island is planning to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, focusing first and foremost on racial equality. There were nearly 70 applicants for this initiative, all of whom identify as Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous, or multiracial. 80% of these applicants were women. All applicants work in the government sectors, with ties to both nonprofit and for-profit agencies. These applicants have worked with Rhode Islanders who are facing housing and food insecurity, have medical needs and more. These professionals hail from all corners of the state, but are united by one common goal: to aid people of all ages and to break down barriers of race and gender.

Nine of the 31 people selected for this initiative are RIC Alumni. Congratulations are extended to RIC’s very own Michael Almonte, Frances Dalomba, Amanda-Joy Febles, Jennifer Gaviria, Octavian Goncalves, Jessica Knight, Omar Reyes, Ratha Sen and Jessica Vega.

The Rhode Island Foundation as a whole works to improve the lives of all Rhode Island residents. They offer scholarships from middle school to post-graduate, provide communities with philanthropy and other needs, and are the largest funder of Rhode Island’s nonprofit organizations. They work based on three priorities to provide for all Rhode Islanders: economic security, educational success and healthy lives.

For additional information on the Rhode Island Foundation, their community work and the scholarships they offer – please visit:


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