First, the City will work to identify the Truth by examining the role of the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence in supporting the institution of slavery, the genocide of Indigenous People, forced assimilation, and seizure of land, among other policies. As part of this first step, local and state laws will be reviewed. This will include a review of all other forms of public and private sector discrimination against people of African or Indigenous heritage and their descendants up to the present day. Once the collection of Truth is completed, findings will be used to begin the process of Reconciliation. Residents, organizations and institutions will be engaged in discussing these Truths, with the aim of appreciating the resiliency of the Black, Indigenous People and People of Color in Providence and to better understand the ways these injustices continue to impact residents today. Through the last step of this process, Reparations, the City will take measures to reverse the injuries resulting from the Truth findings and advise what appropriate policies, programs, and projects may be executed based on recommendations that accomplish this mission. These will also work to address local laws and policies that continue negatively impact Black, Indigenous People, and People of Color in Providence.
This Executive Order commits the City to undertake a process but does not pre-define what that process should look like, or what the outcomes will be. The African American Ambassador Group, which meets with the Mayor weekly, will guide the Mayor’s Office on what body will carry this work forward, and who will be a part of that body.