In September 2022, Rhode Island Humanities published the 2022 Rhode Island Civic Health Index. This award-winning report serves as the state’s first-ever Civic Health Index, an initiative led by the Humanities Council in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and the Rhode Island Department of State with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the “A More Perfect Union” initiative and from the Rhode Island Foundation.
The 2022 Rhode Island Civic Health Index draws upon data-driven indicators and information about diverse connections to civic life to join the 30 other states that have examined their own civic well-being. This report provides a baseline to help communities, leaders, and policy makers understand what challenges and opportunities Rhode Islanders share.
The Index includes an introduction to Rhode Island; regional and national context for the state’s civic health; and in-depth discussions of five areas of civic health in Rhode Island: Community Well-Being, Social Connection, Public Participation, Collective Understanding, and Engagement with Government. The Index was developed using existing data sources from the US Census, the Rhode Island Department of State, and the Rhode Island Life Index, as well as new data from the 2022 RI Civic Health Index Survey, which was created and distributed by the Humanities Council in collaboration with 10 Community Partners.
RI Civic Health Index Community Partners:
Cathleen Carr (she/her), South Kingstown
Christine Costa (she/her), Tiverton
Diana Figueroa (she/her), Pawtucket
Wanda Hopkins (she/her), Hopkinton
Mariam Kaba (she/her), Woonsocket
Alex Kithes (he/him), Woonsocket
Joel Rosario Tapia (he/him, they/them), Providence
Doug Victor (he/him), Providence
Kilah Walters-Clinton (she/her), Providence
Jannessa Ya (she/her), Cranston
At the National Humanities Conference in October 2023, the Federation of State Humanities Councils presented the 2023 Schwartz Prize for outstanding work in the public humanities to Rhode Island Humanities along with Alaska Humanities Forum and North Carolina Humanities. Pictured, Julia Renaud, Associate Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives, and Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director, accept the Schwartz Prize on behalf of RI Humanities at the 2023 National Humanities Conference in Indianapolis, IN, from Paxton Williams, Chair of the Board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.
Photo credit: Federation of State Humanities Councils
2022 RI Civic Health Index
Limited print copies are available from the Humanities Council upon request. Contact email@example.com to request a print copy.
2022 RI CHI Executive Summary / Resumen Ejecutivo
2022 RI CHI Survey Data
To download a PDF of the 2022 RI CHI Survey Data, please enter your name and email below.
Moving Forward, Together: A Community Conversation on the 2022 RI Civic Health Index
On April 19, 2023, RI Humanities convened members of the team behind the 2022 Rhode Island Civic Health Index (RI CHI) to discuss steps that Rhode Islanders can take, together, to impact civic health in the state. The conversation began with a panel focusing on strengthening community well-being and community participation in Rhode Island, moderated by RI CHI Data Consultant and Co-author Neelam Sakaria and attended by 90 audience members. Around 40 participants then joined the panelists in optional break-out room conversations focused on panel topics (break-out rooms not recorded).
- Cathleen Carr, Community Partner | Executive Director, newportFILM
- Jeff Coates, Primary Contributor | Research & Evaluation Director, National Conference on Citizenship
- Wanda Hopkins, Community Partner | Native American Advisory Council (NAAC) member, Tomaquag Museum and University of Rhode Island; Narragansett Tribal Elder; Masters in English candidate, University of Rhode Island
- Nicholas V. Longo, PhD, Academic Advisor | Professor in the Department of Global Studies & Co-Director of the Dialogue, Inclusion, and Democracy (DID) Lab, Providence College
- Doug Victor, Community Partner | Chair, Elmwood and South Providence Crime Watch
- Kilah Walters-Clinton, Community Partner | Founder of Innovative Advising and Director of Race, Equity & Community Engagement for the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services
- Yinjiao Ye, PhD, Academic Advisor | Professor of Communications Studies & Director of Graduate Studies, University of Rhode Island
RI Civic Health Index Panel Discussion Questions:
- What steps can we take to address racial inequities in communities across Rhode Island?
- What tools or spaces have proven useful or accessible for starting dialogues with Rhode Islanders unlike yourself? If you have not found these tools or spaces yet, what do you feel would be most helpful?
- Think about the non-governmental civic institutions that have been most impactful in your life–for example, local heritage societies, parks, and independent corner stores. What resources would allow those institutions to impact even more Rhode Islanders? What would it require to provide those resources?
- The Civic Health Index calls for ensuring that the state’s monuments and historic sites inclusively reflect the stories and perspectives of Indigenous Rhode Islanders and all Rhode Islanders of color. What do you see as the importance and impact of more inclusive monuments and historic sites in Rhode Island?
- What will it take to achieve greater investment in local independent media? How could this transform the state’s civic landscape?
- What do you see working well in Rhode Island when it comes to government transparency on the state, city, or neighborhood levels? What needs improvement, and how could that improvement be made?
Share your thoughts, questions, comments about the RI Civic Health Index using the form below.