- Advisory Committees
Julius Kolawole is the Director and Cofounder of the African Alliance of Rhode Island (AARI). He is responsible for the operation of AARI's core programs: Food, Art, Culture, and Health. He established an urban community garden for AARI in 2009 and currently runs six urban gardens in South Providence. For the past eight years, Julius has led the AARI Urban gardening program, specializing in growing, selling and making value-added products from African vegetables grown in South Providence. Since 2012, he has led eight of the growers to selling their produce at Armory Farmers Market in West-End of Providence and Winter Farmers Market in Pawtucket. In 2015, he implemented a very successful “grow your own food” initiative for community residents and value-added products such as carrot/apple jam and relish made from garden eggs. He advocates and promotes community vitality by engaging different cultures at the farmer's market, cooking demonstration, Food as Medicine, in addition to African oral food stories and proverbs.
In 2017, AARI partnered with the Providence Housing Authority (PHA) to establish a community garden for eleven women at Chad Brown, a section 8 housing residential complex. In 2019, AARI continued to partner with PHA to establish a new community garden project for Hartford housing, another section 8 housing complex. Recently AARI partnered with Linn Nursing Home to establish gardening for the senior citizens at AARI New Farm in Johnston.
For the fifteenth years, Julius has led the organization on its Annual African Health Summit. He also serves on a few board of directors and collaborates with many organizations in RI. He is a member of the Food Solution New England (FSNE) Process Team, the RI Ambassador for FSNE, and participates fully in the FSNE 21-day racial equity challenge. He retired in 2009 after working as an electrical engineer at National Grid for twenty-eight years. Currently, he is an adjunct professor of mathematics at Bristol Community College. He is a cofounder and former President of Oasis International in Providence and also spends time engaging the young people in the community.