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Our Team

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors serves to establish the vision and mission of the Center for Reconciliation, provide oversight, support the Center’s staff and volunteers, and assist in raising funds.

  • Rt. Reverend W. Nicholas Knisely, Chair & President
  • Rev. Dr. David A. Ames, Vice-Chair, pro tem
  • James DeWolf Perry, Secretary
  • Robert P. Naparstek, M.D., Treasurer
  • Imam Farid Ansari
  • Princess Sirleaf Bomba
  • Rev. Patrick Campbell
  • Hon. Edward C. Clifton
    • Rev. Canon Michael Horvath
    • Ferdinand Jones, PhD
    • Rev. Nathan Humphrey
    • Rabbi Sarah Mack
    • Rev. Dr. Jeffrey A. Williams
    • Joseph Wilson, Jr.


    The Center for Reconciliation staff manage the daily operations of the Center, plan public programs and exhibitions, and build partnerships with community organizations with the support of the Center’s team of volunteers.

    To contact the staff of the Center for Reconciliation, call 401.383.8035 or email

    Debra Sharpe

    Executive Director

    Debra Sharpe’s longtime passion for social justice and deep roots in the Episcopal Church brought her to the Center for Reconciliation. She has focused on non-profit management and resource development throughout her career.  Debra has been serving as the Executive Director for the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island in addition to her work with us; and has recently decided to focus more of her energies there. We wish her every success in that endeavor, and look forward to her continued efforts with us on a volunteer basis.

    We expect to launch a search for her successor over the summer.

    Marco A. McWilliams

    Associate Director of Education and Training

    Marco McWilliams is an educator and public scholar of African-American history. He is a Mississippi born activist, educator, and is the founding organizer and former deputy director of the Providence Africana Reading Collective (PARC). Marco is also a founding director of the Black Studies program at DARE, and an organizer with Behind the Walls, DARE’s prison abolition committee. He is the founder of the Providence Black Studies Freedom School, a free political education project focused on providing theoretically grounded and engaged historical instruction for members of Providence’s diverse communities.

    Marco is a graduate of Rhode Island College where he majored in African Studies, and is a Master’s Degree candidate at Brown University, in the Department of American Studies. His field of study is African-American History, mid -19th & 20th Century Black Radical Organizing Traditions. Marco brings his strong background in training and education and a true passion for the work of the Center.

    Join us now to help make a difference

    We have a wide range of volunteer opportunities available from one-time gigs to key leadership roles. Contact us at to talk about how you can become involved in this important work of racial reconciliation.