PROVIDENCE, R.I.- Governor Gina M. Raimondo will be joined by advocates, community leaders, elected officials, and members of her cabinet today at 3 p.m. at Billy Taylor Park in Providence to unveil her 'RIse Together' vision for a more equitable and resilient Rhode Island and announce immediate steps her administration will be taking. Today's announcement comes after several weeks of meetings with community and youth leaders and is the first step in a series of actions to combat racial inequities in Rhode Island.
The Governor will also sign an Executive Order today removing the phrase "Providence Plantations" from gubernatorial orders and citations, executive agency websites, official correspondence, and state employee paystubs.
"Our work to dismantle systemic racism in Rhode Island did not start today and it will not end today, but we can rise together and make meaningful progress toward racial equity now," said Governor Raimondo. "Rhode Island was founded on the principles of acceptance and tolerance, and our state's name – and actions – should reflect those values. The steps I am announcing today are just the beginning, and I am fully committed to continuing to work alongside the community in stamping out individual and institutional racism in our state."
As part of the 'RIse Together' vision, the Governor has:
• Directed the Department of Administration to institute mandatory implicit bias training for all Executive Branch employees.
• Directed the Department of Administration to build a plan for more comprehensive equity training.
• Directed the Rhode Island State Police to form a Community Outreach Team that will be tasked with working with community leaders to find ways for departments to better engage the Rhode Islanders they serve.
• Directed Rhode Island State Police Colonel James Manni to develop a plan and explore grants and other funding sources to equip all State Police officers with body cameras, building on the existing efforts within the State Police to increase accountability.
In addition, the Department of Administration is currently undergoing a comprehensive study of all state contracting practices to ensure that minority-owned businesses have an equal shot at procurement opportunities – the first of its kind in 25 years.