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Removing Barriers – Strengthening Democracy: Community Conversations

Why should everyone care that some communities are not active participants in our civic society? Recent tests to our country’s democratic processes remind us of the fragility of our system. For democracy to thrive it needs an educated electorate and systems that allow for full and fair participation by everyone.

Join Lippitt House Museum and the Providence League of Women Voters for a series of discussions on the systematic barriers that keep youth and adults of color from fully participating in our democratic society. The two virtual community conversations will feature students and staff of Reentry Campus Program and The Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE).

Carrie Taylor, Lippitt House Museum Director said about the upcoming March conversations, “Lippitt House Museum is excited to partner with organizations that are committed to ensuring that students of color are heard. These conversations are a way to learn about the barriers some people experience when they try to participate in our democracy and how improved civic education benefits our whole community. We need to work together to make sure everyone can participate and receive the benefits of democracy.”

The discussions will be held virtually via Zoom on Monday March 15 and 22 starting at 6:00 pm.  The sessions are FREE and preregistration is required by visiting www.preserveri.org/calendar

Youth Activism & Civic Responsibility, Monday March 15, 6:00 PM

Student youth leaders with the Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE), a program that combines leadership training and community organizing to mobilize Southeast Asian and other Rhode Island youth of color for education justice, will participate in a conversation with Rhode Island civil rights leaders. They’ll discuss motivations for their civic engagement, similarities and differences in their strategies, barriers to overcome, and goals yet to realize. The youth leaders will share how ARISE’s emphasis on civic responsibility informs their activism.

Barriers to Democratic Participation for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals, Monday March 22, 6:00 PM

Staff and adult students of the Reentry Campus Program, which provides current and formerly incarcerated individuals with affordable pathways to post-secondary education programs critical to the reentry process, will talk with leaders who make and enforce policies impacting formerly incarcerated individuals. The dialogue will explore barriers that keep formerly incarcerated individuals from fully participating in democratic processes, such as employment and access to adequate education — including civics education and voting rights for people currently in the criminal justice system.

Financial support provided by the League of Women Voters Rhode Island Education Fund.

About Lippitt House Museum:

Preserve Rhode Island’s 1865 Lippitt House Museum offers tours by appointment, outdoor programs, event rentals, and a variety of online resources. Designated a National Historic Landmark, Lippitt House has one of the best-preserved Victorian interiors in America, allowing visitors to step into Providence’s Golden Age. Following the Lippitt family’s example of public service, the Museum’s cultural programming promotes civic engagement, the arts, and history of Providence. www.LippittHouse.org

About League of Women Voters of Rhode Island Education Fund:

The League of Women Voters of Rhode Island Education Fund is a non-partisan public policy educational organization, which builds citizen participation in the democratic process, studies key community issues at all government levels in an unbiased manner and enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.

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