Social Justice

Legislature Approves MJ Legalization!

Good news! Following floor debates in both chambers of the General Assembly earlier today, a majority of Rhode Island legislators have approved legislation to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults. Governor McKee who has previously indicated he would sign the measure. With the governor’s approval, Rhode Island will become the 19th state to end …

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‘Never Again Action’ At State House

(10.17) Head over to the state house Thursday and join ‘Never Again Action’ in a protest of the private prison system and its taxpayer-funded profit stream, ICE. Former state rep Aaron Regunberg has been spearheading these actions, locally and up at Wyatt, and hopes that this ‘Take Back the State House’ occupation will finally get …

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” . . . Martin Luther King, Jr. on his disappointment with the white moderate from his ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ April 16, 1963.   A candlelight vigil will …

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Words Of Welcome

The open-minded congregation of the First Baptist Church in America has given passersby something to think about this Pride Week. The Rev. Jamie Washam has exercised wit and wisdom on the message board in the past. The Providence Journal wrote about Washam’s “audition” when she first applied for the position of pastor back in 2015. …

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‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Now At Cable Car

Head over to Moses Brown at 4pm, Saturday, April 1, for a free community screening of Raoul Peck’s 2016 film, “I Am Not Your Negro,” hosted by Cable Car Cinema at the new Woodman Family Center on the school campus. (Facebook event page.) In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing …

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Criminal Justice Reform A Priority

On Monday we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. and I would like to echo the suggestion made by Jim Vincent, president of the Providence NAACP, in today’s ProJo — “Honor King with probation reform.” Rhode Island has the second-highest probation rate in the country – one in 20 adult men are on probation at any …

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Regunberg Fundraiser At Wild Colonial

(3.9) Here’s an upside to mass incarceration — with roughly 2.5 million Americans locked up nearly everybody now knows someone who has been, or is now, in prison. Perhaps this has increased awareness of the horrors of solitary confinement, because getting folks to care about the problems of criminals is not easy. It takes political …

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ACLU Trivia Night At Salon

(9.17) Steven Brown of the Rhode Island Chapter of the ACLU invites everyone to celebrate the U.S. Constitution. Writing for RI Future; This Wednesday marks the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 delegates of U.S. Constitutional Convention and the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is celebrating with a …

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Marijuana Legislation Forum At Rochambeau

(6.19) Head over to the Rochambeau Library on Thursday for a forum on the marijuana ‘Tax and Regulate’ legislation currently before the general assembly.  Regulate Rhode Island (RRI) will host a panel of advocates from varied backgrounds who will discuss why they believe marijuana should be legalized for adult recreational use in Rhode Island. Regulate …

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Patrick Kennedy Can’t Get Out Of His Own Head

Too bad, because that’s where he does most of his thinking. Former congressman, and outspoken opponent of marijuana reform, Patrick Kennedy is in a snit: Lifespan has backed out of hosting a planned conference in which medical and addiction professionals were apparently prepared to discuss — without irony — the need to sweep marijuana users …

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Legislation To Legalize And Tax Marijuana In RI

At a press conference last week State Rep. Edith H. Ajello (D-Providence) and State Senator Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) officially announced that they are once again sponsoring a bill to regulate and tax the sale of marijuana — effectively legalizing it for adult recreational use as in Washington and Colorado. (I also spoke at this press …

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End Marijuana Prohibition — Join Regulate Rhode Island

Supporters of the move to end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island can now organize under one banner. The newly launched Regulate Rhode Island is a coalition of citizens and advocacy groups who will be focusing their efforts on educating the public and persuading the members of the General Assembly to pass the “Marijuana Control, Regulate, …

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Gay Marriage Bill Passes The Senate

The Rhode Island Senate passed the same-sex marriage bill 26/12 (how they voted). The Providence Journal reports, Describing himself as “thrilled” by the Senate’s passage of same-sex marriage legislation, the state’s openly-gay House Speaker Gordon Fox promised what could be the final votes on the legislation next week. He promised a House Judiciary Committee vote …

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Fighting To Right A Wrong — Aaron’s Law

David Scharfenberg has a wonderful piece in this week’s Providence Phoenix — “Weeks after Aaron Swartz’s death, a friend takes action” — updating us on our friend Dave Segal*. Prior to his death Aaron Swartz had been targeted by the Justice Department and was facing a potential 35 years in prison for violating the Computer …

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Harry Belafonte Keynote Address — MLK Jr. Series

(1.29) The public is invited to hear Harry Belafonte discuss life as an “Artist as Activist” in his keynote lecture for RISD’s 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. series. We are excited to announce that Mr. Harry Belafonte will be delivering the keynote address for this year’s MLK celebration series. He will be speaking on the …

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State Rep Edith Ajello To Proceed With Further Marijuana Reform

I love this woman!  According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Rhode Island State Representative and Chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, Edith Ajello, will re-introduce legislation for the regulation and taxation of marijuana at the next legislative session. On Election Day, voters in the states of Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives to remove criminal …

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