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Rhode Island for Community & Justice (RICJ) is a social justice nonprofit dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry, and racism and promoting understanding among all races, religions, and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution, and education. It is our purpose to transform communities to be more inclusive and just by empowering people to lead institutional change. We are the voice that calls people to common ground, with respect for differences but with the understanding that people of all backgrounds have common values and needs that unite them.

Fighting bias, bigotry and racism. 

Promoting understanding.


To promote understanding and respect across groups, RICJ believes society must acknowledge the dynamics of power and privilege and the role individuals play in creating attitudes, behavior and practices that support systems of exclusion and oppression either overt or covert.

Through its adult and youth programming, RICJ works with students, teachers, clergy, corporate and civic leaders to facilitate workshops, develop curriculum, convene race relations and inter-religious dialogues, and provide consulting on challenges related to bias, bigotry and racism. Our current focus on youth programs and juvenile justice reforms is due largely to the organizations belief that today's teens are tomorrow's leaders, and through them is the only way to create long-lasting positive change in our communities. 

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We are looking for new team members!

Toby Ayers, PhD

Executive Advisor

Dr. Ayers is a community psychologist with doctorate from Washington State University and postdoctoral fellowship at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She was Executive Director 2004 - 2024, leading administration, strategic planning and fundraising, the Civil Rights Roundtable and she founded and directs our Juvenile Justice program.  She teams with Rose and RICJ youth on our diversity and workplace consulting service. 

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Jace Cardona

Juvenile Justice Reform VISTA

Jace (he/him) is RICJ's Juvenile Justice Reform VISTA. He promotes juvenile diversion by helping support and expand the Juvenile Hearing Boards in RI, with the primary objective to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. He assists in providing JHBs resources, training, educational opportunities, and connections throughout the community by helping organize events including the Community Ally Coalition and statewide

JHB meetings. 

Juvenile Justice Reform VISTA

Veronica Godina

Bonner Fellow

Veronica is a junior at Brown University but is originally from Chicago, IL. As a Bonner Fellow, she will be with RICJ for all four years of college. She works with the juvenile justice team but also does independent research for RICJ. This work is especially meaningful to her after witnessing the negative impacts of the school-to-prison pipeline and juvenile incarceration in her own community. After college, she hopes to enter law school and focus on juvenile justice law or immigration law.

Melissa Mota

Assistant Director for Sustainability and Operations

Sharlene Tavares

Youth Programs Coordinator

Rose Albert

Executive Director


Board of Directors:

PresidentDavid Winoker, Belvoir Properties

Vice President:  Michael Evora
, Rhode Island  Commission for Human Rights

2nd Vice President Kelly Coutcher, Fidelity Investments

Secretary Col. Steven Paré
, City of Providence

Advisor to the Board:  Dr. Larome Myrick


Shameem Awan, Amica Insurance

Stephanie Beaute, Hi Marley, Inc.

Krystal Carvalho, RI State Police

Andrew Douglass, Douglass Law

Stephanie Hague, Jewish Alliance of RI 

David Leach

Emeritis Past Presidents

Dr. John McCray, University of RI  (Past President)

Sam Palmisano, Amica Insurance  (Past President)

OUR 2023 Annual Fund SPONSORS

Thank you to our Early-Bird 2023 Annual Fundraiser sponsors as of mid-October. 

COMMUNITY SPONSORS are Amica Insurance and Belvoir Properties. 

INCLUSION SPONSORS are AAA Northeast and Hinckley Allen. 

JUSTICE Sponsor is Cox Communications.   

RESPECT Sponsors are KPMG and Scout/Bok.

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