Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

These initiatives uphold the educational and community recommendations outlined in Brown’s landmark Slavery & Justice Report. These programs seek to empower young people at Providence Public Schools. Public engagement initiatives include different forms of curriculum.

Ongoing Programs

The Slavery & Legacy Tours examine the history behind Brown University, the State of Rhode Island and their roles in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The tours help students (K-12 + college) as well as adult groups think critically about the University and state histories.
A free summer program for Rhode Island rising 10th-12th grade students, the Black and Indigenous High School Summer Institute is designed within a restorative justice framework that centers on self-reflection, critical thinking, and reading against the grain to reframe how we understand history and heal our communities. This program is on pause for 2024 and is expected to run again in the summer of 2025.

Program Archive

Embedded within the American social, political, and economic systems are various forms of structural violences. The Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice's series This Is America explores how these structures and systems are rooted in anti-Black racism.
Running from 2015–2019, the Civil Rights Movement Initiative (CRMI) was an after-school program that served students from three Providence public high schools. This initiative aimed to help high school students understand the Civil Rights Movement as a bridge to understand the present. Each year's program culminated in a seven-day trip to visit historic sites and museums commemorating the Civil Rights Movement.
In 2022-23, the Simmons Center offered enrichment opportunities to creative, energetic, motivated high students. Working with the Education Manager, students developed community-based projects deeply-rooted in social justice.