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Center for Reconciliation Receives Award

The Center for Reconciliation (CFR) is honored to have been named the 2017 winner of the Sister Ann Keefe Community and Faith Service Award.

Presented by The Reverend Donald Anderson, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, the award is given to an individual or organization that has worked with the faith community to achieved shared goals. The award was accepted by Elon Cook, the program director and museum curator for the CFR. Click here to watch the presentation — and share it with others!

We appreciate the recognition and your support!

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Rhode Island Docent Symposium

The Center for Reconciliation participated last week in the 2017 Rhode Island Docent Symposium, sponsored by the Rhode Island Historical Society and funded by the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.

The symposium was held on Monday, May 8 in New Bedford, Massachusetts at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. This year’s theme was “Creating Welcoming Spaces.”

Elon Cook, our program director and curator, gave a 15-minute video presentation as part of the session on “Race in Museums.” Elon spoke about how to develop respectful interpretations of enslaved, and gradually emancipated, people by collaborating with universities and other historic sites. She emphasized the importance of telling the truth about our shared history. Keith Stokes from the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society then spoke about the importance of representing enslaved people from the point of view of the people themselves (their family, food, culture, religion, skills, etc.) rather than simply as “slaves.” Pam McDonald, CFR volunteer program coordinator, Morgan Grefe, executive director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, and Keith Stokes then answered questions posed by the 40 docents present at the program.

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Open House at the Cathedral

Center members and over 50 visitors enjoyed viewing an exhibit on “Black Mechanics: The Foinding of a University and Nation” featuring Black Americans history and Brown University followed by a tour of The Cathedral of St John and an introduction to the work of the Center. (Exhibit on loan from the Center for Slavery and Justice). 

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Interfaith Anti-Semitism Vigil

CFR members joined other members of Rhode Island’s Interfaith Community who gathered in response to the increased acts of anti-Semitism on Sunday, March 5th at the Holocaust Memorial in downtown Providence.

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Elon Cook, Program Manager, radio interview

Elon Cook, CFR’s Program Manager and Museum Curator was featured in an interview with WCAI radio (a local NPR station). Mindy Todd interviewed Cook as part of their weekly “On The Point” segment. It focused on Slavery in New England and is a great opportunity to learn more about the CFR. Check it out here: http://capeandislands.org/post/new-england-s-hidden-slave-past#stream/0

Elon Cook will be the keynote speaker at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Breakfast, hosted by No Place for Hate in Falmouth, MA on Monday, January 16 at 9:30 a.m.


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MLK Celebration

The personal reflections on Dr. King’s six principles of non-violence were powerful and moving. Highlights of the evening also included musical performances by youth from the RI Philharmonic School of Music, the Grace Church choir, a Native American drummers and singers group, jazz pianist, a cello player and an original composition for piano and flute. The collaboration of several organizations and many people was wonderful to behold!

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MLK Celebration Ready to Roll

The CFR and its partners are eagerly anticipating a great evening celebrating the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We’re especially excited that Alexandra Medeiros, a composer and RI Philharmonic Music School Alumna has composed a piece for piano and flute. “Redemption” will be having it’s premiere at our celebration! Join us on January 12th at 7 pm at Calvary Baptist Church in Providence.


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