Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to spend time with Brian, Dexter, Anthony, Keon and some other amazing young men from our community as well as Mr. Bill Baptiste, a longtime coach, and mentor in Mount Hope. These young men, nearly all of whom grew up in the community, spent five hours with me enhancing the lot adjacent to the recreation center, which offers academic, athletic and social outlets for many of our young people. Dexter, a student-athlete at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, passionately explained to me the importance of giving back to his community. Anthony, a recent graduate of Classical High School, is headed to URI and hopes to one day become an immigration attorney. Finally, Brian, who grew up playing basketball at the recreation center now serves as the head basketball coach and evening programs manager.
Tomorrow, I look forward to celebrating our nation’s Independence Day, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. For many immigrants this day will be marked with fear and uncertainty of their fate as the rest of the nation celebrates. On Saturday, I stood with hundreds of residents along Pontiac Avenue, across the street from the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI), to demand that our government and leaders take action to end the separation of immigrant children from their parents. As I stated in my speech, the issue of separation is not limited to the border states. I can’t stress the importance of knowing our neighbors, community members and individuals that we engage with on a daily basis because there are people who live right in our ward that have been impacted by these inhumane actions.
As we celebrate the day that our country gained its independence, let us not forget the many who have escaped violence and persecution seeking liberation and freedom. As we celebrate the birth of our nation, let it serve as a reminder that the success of our country can often be traced to the contributions of immigrants.
Have a safe and wonderful July 4th!
City Council Meeting Docket and Notes can be found on the City of Providence Open Meeting website here: http://providenceri.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx
City Councilor, Ward 3
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