Act of Renunciation background image state house dusk background image library ceiling background image rotunda across background image state house ornimental ceiling background image

News and Events

Thu, 14 Oct 2021 15:45:00 GMT

Secretary Gorbea Convenes First Meeting of RI 250th Commission

EAST GREENWICH, RI – Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea convened the inaugural meeting of the Rhode Island Semiquincentennial (RI 250th) Commission yesterday at the Varnum Memorial Armory in East Greenwich. The goals of the RI 250th Commission are to promote Rhode Island's unique role in the American Revolution, increase civic engagement across the state, and stimulate the local economy through tourism opportunities.

The RI 250th Commission was established through two bills introduced on behalf of Secretary Gorbea and signed into law on June 14, 2021:

• H6002 introduced by Representatives Kennedy, Abney, McNamara, Azzinaro, Edwards, Solomon, Shanley, and Vella-Wilkinson

• S810 introduced by Senators Goodwin, McCaffery, Archambault, and Pearson

"Many of the events that shaped the birth of our country happened right here in Rhode Island, like the burning of the HMS Gaspee in June of 1772," said Secretary Gorbea. "The 250th anniversary of these events are right around the corner. Commemorating them is an important opportunity to have thoughtful conversations about our past in order to ensure a more equitable and inclusive Rhode Island in the future."

The RI 250th Commission consists of 30 members, six of whom are appointed by statute and 24 members of the public appointed by elected leaders. The members of the RI 250th Commission are:

• Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, Chairperson (statutory appointment)

• Jeffrey Emidy, Executive Director, Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, Vice Chairperson (statutory appointment)

• Dr. Patrick Conley, Rhode Island Historian Laureate (statutory appointment)

• Lisa Foehr, Chief of Teaching, Rhode Island Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (statutory appointment)

• Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council for the Arts (statutory appointment)

• Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce (statutory appointment)

• Bob Billington, President, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (appointed by the Secretary of State)

• Dr. C. Morgan Grefe, Executive Director, Rhode Island Historical Society (appointed by the Secretary of State)

• Marta Martinez, Executive Director, RI Latino Arts (appointed by the Secretary of State)

• Ruth Taylor, Executive Director, Newport Historical Society (appointed by the Secretary of State)

• Lorén Spears, Executive Director, Tomaquag Museum (appointed by the Secretary of State)

• Keith Stokes, Vice President, 1696 Heritage Group (appointed by the Secretary of State)

• Charles Roberts, Founder, Rhode Island Slave History Medallion Project (appointed by the Governor)

• Senator Valarie Lawson, District 14, (appointed by the Senate President)

• Dennis Morgan (appointed by the Senate President)

• Ray Rickman, Executive Director, Stages of Freedom (appointed by the Senate President)

• Robert Burke, Founder, RI Independence Trail Tour (appointed by the Senate President)

• Steven Miller, incoming Gaspee Days Committee President (appointed by the Speaker of the House)

• Dr. Joyce Stevos, Rhode Island College (appointed by the Speaker of the House)

• Heather Pouliot Kisilywicz, Executive Director, South County Museum (appointed by the Speaker of the House)

• Col. Ron Barnes, Commander, Pawtuxet Rangers (appointed by the Speaker of the House)

• Stephen Mitchell (appointed by the Senate Minority Leader)

• Scott Avedisian, CEO, Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (appointed by the Senate Minority Leader)

• Pam Gasner, Executive Director, Block Island Historical Society (appointed by the House Minority Leader)

• Steven Frias (appointed by the House Minority Leader)

• Five members TBD (to be appointed by the Governor)

###

News Contact:

Nick Domings
Deputy Communications Director
401-330-3189
Email: [email protected]