June 3, 2020 — Engaging history and culture is not just about reflection and understanding but about action. The change that we want to make depends upon acknowledging oppression, negotiating the contradictions between cherished ideals and the reality of inequality and injustice, and confronting culpability. Creating a better future also means recognizing the leadership and hard-won achievements of those who came before us.
Restoring histories that have been suppressed and engaging in difficult dialogues help us become proximate to each other—even as we recognize differences—and change the narrative that enforces inequality.
Stemming the erosion of civil society and building it anew is a responsibility we all bear.
These are what the humanities do.
As our nation, state, and local communities confront the deep legacies of slavery and social injustice, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities staff and board are committed to do our part to enhance civic engagement and provide tools for creating systems of equity that honor and support our diverse cultures. It has been our mission for nearly 50 years to seed, support, and strengthen the public humanities by and for ALL Rhode Islanders. We are dedicated to continuing this work, to being allies through our partnerships, and to amplifying underrepresented voices in our communities.
Elizabeth Francis, PhD
and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Team