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​Campus Climate Assessment Project

We are in the process of assessing how all members of our community experience the current campus climate via a series of focus groups scheduled to take place in early October 2013. To ensure full transparency and to provide a more complete perspective, we have contracted Rankin & Associates (R&A) to help lead this effort. Dr. Rankin has conducted more than 100 campus climate assessments in her over 35 years in the academy. Rankin & Associates will be working with a committee of students, staff, and faculty from PC to develop the focus groups and protocols.

The goals of the project are multifold:

  • identify successful initiatives
  • uncover any challenges facing members of our community
  • develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges.

The results will be presented to the entire community. And the Campus Climate Working Group will present me with a series of immediate, intermediate, and long-term action-item recommendations based on the survey results.

Assessing how members of our community ​experience the College’s climate will better enable us to both develop programs and policies that will increase inclusivity in areas which are shown to be problematic and enhance and replicate programs and policies in areas which are shown to be successfully meeting the needs of the community.

The Bias Response Protocol (BRP)

As part of the College’s on-going efforts to promote an enhanced understanding of, and respect for, diversity in its many forms, the College is currently finalizing a Bias Response Protocol (BRP) as a framework to respond effectively to incidents of bias, or perceived bias on campus. The BRP should be finalized in the Fall 2013, and is one of several initiatives with the goal of promoting a campus climate in which all members thrive personally, professionally, and academically

An important aspect of the BRP will be the Bias Response Team (BRT), an appointed and trained group of students, staff, and faculty members whose charge is to assess reports of bias incidents on campus, to develop and communicate a timely and comprehensive institutional response, and to support persons and groups involved in, and affected by, an incident.


Rafael Angel Zapata
Associate Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer
Phone: (401) 865-2878
Fax: (401) 865-1710


Upcoming Events

Dr. Pedro Noguera: Segregation Forever? Education and Civil Rights 60 Years After Brown v. Board of Education


Dr. Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University

In this presentation we will analyze the current reform agenda being promoted by states, the federal government and various advocacy groups. We will also explore why issues pertaining to racial segregation and social inequality are no longer considered central to school change initiatives and the implication of allowing these issues to be ignored. Finally, we will consider the possibilities for change that exist in the current period given the constraints confronting public schools.

Sept. 4, 4:30 pm, Ruane 105


Richard Rodriguez: A public reading of his new book "Darling" with Q&A


Darling is a collection of essays in which Rodriguez considers the complete reality of faith-based violence among the three Abrahamic religions of the desert, growing atheism in the West, the roll of women in Church and society, sexuality, and other timely topics.

Sept. 16, 5:00 pm, Ruane Hall 105


Los Pleneros ​de la 21: Afro-Puerto Rican musical Group


Founded in 1983, the group consists of three generations of venerated traditional and professional musicians, incomparable dancers and passionate educators.  Los Pleneros de la 21 fuses the "down home" Afro-Puerto Rican traditions with contemporary sound to showcase their versatility and complexities of Latino experience in the United States.

  • Workshop facilitated by Los Pleneros de la 21, Sept 18, 7:00 pm
  • Performance on Sept.19, 6:30-8:30 pm, Smith Center for the Arts


Yesenia Barragan: "To the mine I will not go: Freedom and the abolition of slavery on the Columbian Black Pacific, 1821-1852

Lecture and Q&A, Yesenia Barragan, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Columbia University
Oct. 2, 4:30 pm, Slavin Center 112 (Fishbowl)

As opposed to the United States, where slavery was destroyed in the context of a Civil War, or Haiti, where slavery was exterminated in 1804 to create the world's first black republic, the majority of republican governments in the Americas dealt with the 'problem' of slavery through a process of gradual emancipation by passing Free Womb laws in the aftermath of independence. This presentation examines the social repercussions of this Law of the Free Womb in the Republic of New Granada (modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador), established in 1821, specifically focusing on the Pacific Coastal province of Chocó, once the gold-mining center of the former Spanish empire. Apart from showing how this law attempted to monopolize the meaning and path to freedom as a state project, and served as a ‘national compromise’ between white, republican elites and the substantial enslaved and black underclasses, this presentation offers a more complicated narrative of emancipation and the trials and tribulations faced by the last generation of enslaved peoples in northern South America.

Recent Events

Recent Headline: Local Hispanic community welcomed to ‘Mass and Meal’ sharing


First Class Jails/Second Class Schools: Education in the Age of Incarceration

A Lecture by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, associate professor of education, Columbia University
Oct. 2, 4:30 P.M. in Slavin 112

Education scholar and media personality Dr. Marc Lamont Hill will be visiting to give a public lecture and Q&A session. Co-sponsored with the Diversity and Inclusion Professionals.
More Info:

How Far Toward Justice? The Arc of History 50 Years After the March on Washington

An interdisciplinary panel and discussion featuring:

  • Dr. David Canton, associate professor of history, Connecticut College
  • Dr. Kara Cebulko, assistant professor of sociology, Providence College
  • Dr. Julia Jordan-Zachery, associate professor of political science and director of the Black Studies Program, Providence College
  • Dr. Manu Vimalassery, visiting professor of American Studies, Williams College

Spring 2013

Hate Crime & Civil Rights: Federal and State Perspectives (May 8)

On May 8, 2013, several high-level administrators - including Major John Leyden, Executive Direction of the Office of Safety and Security - attended a 3-hour training designed for Police Departments and college and university campus safety and security offices in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts. It was presented by the Rhode Island Governor's Commission on Prejudice & Bias, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, and hosted by the Justice System and Training & Research Institute at Roger Williams University.

Embracing Diversity: A Student Forum with Fr. Shanley (May 3)

In response to community requests for administrative attention and action to racial profiling and discrimination on campus, a dinner and discussion was held with Fr. Shanley where students were given the opportunity to dialogue with the President and share their thoughts, concerns, and experiences.

A Conversation with Junot Diaz (Apr. 10)

On April 10, the Office of Institutional Diversity brought in Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer, Junot Diaz, for a reading and conversation, which drew in over 250 students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community into the Smith Center for the Arts.

Friar Forum - Diversity: The Vision Realized (Mar. 18)

For the first annual Friar Forum, hosted by The Cowl and co-sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity along with BMSA, the topic addressed diversity on campus and involved students, faculty, and administrations representing such groups as SHEPARD (Stopping Homophobia, Eliminating Prejudice, and Restoring Dignity), SOAR (Students Organized Against Racism), Student Congress, the Department of Sociology, and Campus Ministry. Over 100 members of the community attended the event.

Film Presentation: Bully (Mar. 13)

This 2011 film documentary which follows the lives of five students who encounter bullying on a daily basis was shown, followed by a Question & Answer session with direct Lee Hirsch.

Freedom and its Discontents (Feb. 27)

Princeton University professor Dr. Imani Perry presented a lecture and reflection on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation to a group of 30 people.

One Drop Rule: Fate, Fiction, or Fate (Feb. 5)

Dr. Yaba Blay of Drexel University spoke to a crowd of 30 people about her multiplatform project which examines the nuances of of skin color politics, racial ambiguity, and negotiations of Black identity.

Yours in Struggle (Feb. 5)

Dr. Allison Dorsey of Swarthmore College presented a lecture entitled "Yours in Struggle: Learning Strength, Courage, and Wisdom from Women in the Civil Rights Movement."

Transition Program Reception with Fr. Shanley & Fr. Sicard (Jan. 5)

President of the College Fr. Shanley and Vice President Fr. Sicard joined students from the New Student Transition Program for a dinner reception in Aquinas Lounge on a Tuesday evening.

Fall 2012

Returning to America (Nov. 28)

Co-sponsored with the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies, the Office of Institutional Diversity featured Fr. David Orique, O.P., in a lecture presentation entitled "Returning to America: The Opening of the Atlantic World," which brought in 40 members of the College and local communities.

Catholic and Dominican

What does it mean to be a Catholic and Dominican college? We invite you to explore this question and the distinctive mission of Providence College.
About Providence College's Catholic and Dominican Identity