Welcome to Providence: Community Walking Tours

2015 WALKING TOURS: September 12th and 19th

The best way to get to know any city is by walking its streets and meeting its people.

The Swearer Center for Public Service has organized a menu of tours on the first weekend of the academic year to introduce you to neighborhoods, community organizations, culture, politics and history of Providence. Many tours will emphasize the relationship between Brown and the community of Providence, showing the myriad ways in which the two have, and indeed still do, influence one another.  

Please sign up for a specific tour by letter, since space is limited. Each tour will last approximately 90 minutes.

Important information - please read:

  • Space is limited so you may not get your first choice. However, every effort will be made to fit you into your desired tour.
  • Walk-ins will be accepted; though people with a reservation will have priority.  
  • Note the meeting place for your tour. All tours will begin and end at this location.
  • Please arrive 10 minutes before departure time. Tours will run approximately 90 minutes.
  • Please bring your Brown ID – some tours will include bus riding as well as walking.
  • In case of rain, call 863-3638 for status of the tours.

Schedule

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th

TOUR #A – 10:00 AM - Local Food and Food Justice
Led by Thea Upham, Farm Fresh RI
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

Learn about growing a local food system that values the environment, health and quality of life of RI farmers and eaters. Thea is the Program Director for Community Access at Farm Fresh RI. She firmly believes that the decisions we make about what we eat and where it comes from can have great impacts on the health and welfare of our local community.  

TOUR #B – 1:00 PM - Behind the Walls and Beyond the Walls: Incarceration and Reentry in RI
Led by John Prince, DARE
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

John Prince is an organizer with DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) working on the Beyond the Walls Campaign. This campaign unites people in prison with their family, friends, community members and former inmates on the outside. The goal is to work for systemic changes in the criminal justice system.  DARE works to build a powerful multi-ethnic and multi- racial base of members who can work together for solutions to community wide problems.

TOUR #C – 1:30PM- Working to End Homelessness in RI
Led by Barbara Kalil and John Freitas and student leaders of HOPE 
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

John and Barbara are homeless advocates and founders and leaders of RI Homeless Advocacy Project and Nighttime Outreach.  They work closely with RI Coalition for the Homeless and the Swearer Community Program, HOPE (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere).

TOUR #D – 2:00 PM - Fox Point, the Cape Verdean Community and Urban Renewal (co-sponsored with the Brown Center for Students of Color)
Led by Claire Andrade Watkins
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

Claire Andrade Watkins was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a professor in the Visual and Media Arts department at Emerson College. She is the director and producer of the documentary "Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican," which blends her personal history of growing up in a close-knit Cape-Verdean community with the 200-year history of Cape Verdeans in America.

TOUR #E – 2:30PM - One Square Mile: Latino Community in Central Falls
Led by Natalia Asalgado and Kenia Alfaro
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

Central Falls, RI with an area of only 1.29 square miles is the smallest and most densely populated city in the smallest state, and the 25th most densely populated incorporated place in the United States. In recent decades, a large number of Hispanic immigrants have found a home in Central Falls and are actively shaping its economy and social fabric. Natalie and Kenia are Brown students who had iProv internships this summer in Central Falls. This tour will introduce you to the culture and community organizations that are shaping this city.

Tour #F - 3:00 PM - Promoting Equitable Access to Health Resources in RI
Led by Rachel Bishop, Health Leads
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

The medical literature offers substantial evidence demonstrating that poverty negatively impacts health outcomes. Children who experience “food insecurity” are 30% more likely to be hospitalized by age three. Poor housing conditions, including overcrowding, have been shown to have a direct relationship to poor mental health, developmental delay, heart disease and other medical issues. This tour, led by Rachel Bishop, Program manager of Health Leads RI will explore some of these dynamics in RI and talk about the role of Health Leads in advocating for a different kind of health care system.  

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19


Tour #G – 11:00 AM -
African Americans on College Hill (co-sponsored with the Brown Center for Students of Color)
Led by Ray Rickman
Meet at Brown Center for Students of Color, 68 Brown St.

Explore Providence’s oldest neighborhood and the African Americans who lived their varied lives there. Many left an indelible mark not only on the state but the world, including opera diva Sissieretta Jones, landscape artist Edward M. Bannister and Harlem Renaissance author Rudolph Fisher. Ray Rickman is a former State Representative from College Hill in Providence and served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2000 to 2002. Ray is also a rare book dealer, is considered a leader in the promotion of African American history.  

Tour #H - 12:00 PM - Youth Voice in Providence
Led by Zack Mezera’13 and members of Providence Student Union
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

Zack Mezera is co-founder and director of the Providence Student Union, which builds student power to ensure young people have a fair say in improving their education. Since 2010, hundreds of students have used PSU to win campaigns for increased access to transportation, blocking negative changes to state graduation requirements, prevention of school closings, increased school infrastructure funding, and more.

Tour #I – 12:30 PM - Ending Homelessness in RI
Led by John Freitas, Barbara Kalil and leaders of HOPE
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

John and Barbara are homeless advocates and founders and leaders of RI Homeless Advocacy Project and Nighttime Outreach. They work closely with RI Coalition for the Homeless and the Brown student organization, HOPE (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere).

Tour #J – 1:00 - Finding Nature in Providence
Led by Scott Turner
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

Scott Turner is Director of Web Communications at Brown, and he also writes a weekly nature commentary for the Providence Journal. He is a former land manager, park ranger and science writer.

Tour #K - 1:30 - Working the Boats: The Cape Verdean Community and Fox Point (co-sponsored with the Brown Center for Students of Color)
Led by Claire Andrade Watkins
Meet at Swearer Center, 25 George Street

This tour will look at the history, kinship and craft of Local 1329, of the International Longshoremen’s Association that provided a livelihood for generations of men from Fox Point who “Worked the Boats” in the Port of Providence. Claire Andrade Watkins was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a professor in the Visual and Media Arts department at Emerson College.