Navigate Up
Sign In

Spring 2015 

branch.feb 10.pdfFrom Selma to Ferguson: The Black Freedom Struggle & the Redemption of US Democracy
Lecture with Q&A with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch
Tuesday, February 10, 4:30 p.m.
'64 Hall, Slavin Center

taylor branch.jpgTaylor Branch is an American author, journalist, and public speaker best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, America in the King Years. The trilogy’s first book, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, won the Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards in 1989. Two successive volumes also gained critical and popular success: Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65, and At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968. Decades later, all three books remain in demand. His latest book, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (2013) presents eighteen key episodes spanning the era, selected and knitted together in language from the trilogy. He began his career as a magazine journalist for The Washington Monthly in 1970, moving later to Harper’s and Esquire. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. 

For information on Taylor Branch see


Fall 2014

Segregation Forever: Education & Civil Rights 60 Years After Brown v. Board of Education (Sept 4)
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.
A Conversation with Richard Rodriguez, author of Darling (Sept 16)
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.
Los Pleneros de la 21 (Sept 18 - 19)
Dance and drumming Workshop and main performance from Los Pleneros de la 21.
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.
To the Mine I Will Not Go (Oct 2)
Freedom and the Abolition of Slavery on the Colombian Black Pacific 1821-1852
Yesenia Barragan, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Columbia University
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.

Cultivating Community through Dialogue (Oct 29)
Providence College Difficult Dialogues initiative
What are the shared values that hold us together as a campus community? How will we work collaboratively to foster belonging within our community? How can we leverage dialogue across differences to cultivate authenticity, belonging, and community? We invite all members of the Providence College community to join us as we explore these questions through small group and large group conversations. We will work collaboratively to develop shared notions of community, authenticity, and respect through dialogue. Participants will have an opportunity to share perspectives on how we should continue the work of cultivating belonging and authentic community here at Providence College.

Fall 2013

First Class Jails/Second Class Schools: Education in the Age of Incarceration (Oct 2)
A Lecture by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, associate professor of education, Columbia University. 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. 
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.

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

​​Tierra Marshall
Assistant Director
Phone: (401) 865-2889
Fax: (401) 865-1710

Cathy O'Leary
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (401) 865-2836
Fax: (401) 865-1710

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