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The Center for Justice: For Rhode Islanders in Need, a New Voice for Access to Justice

April 9, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – To help address the growing volume of unmet legal needs among vulnerable individuals, families and communities in Rhode Island, representatives from the Rhode Island Center for Justice and the Roger Williams University School of Law gathered with elected officials, members of the bench and bar, and allied community organizations today to formally launch the Center for Justice, a new nonprofit public interest law center.

The Center for Justice’s Board of Directors, led by Chair Miriam Weizenbaum and Vice-Chair Amato DeLuca, joined University President Donald J. Farish, RWU Law Dean Michael J. Yelnosky and other speakers in describing the need for increased access to justice in Rhode Island, along with the potential to offer new attorneys hands-on experience serving community members struggling with housing, employment, immigration and other critical issues.

Hawkward Takes the PPAC Stage on Saturday as 'Special Guest' Performers for Jay Leno

March 18, 2015

BRISTOL, R.I. – When Ali Isham ’13, Perry Cyr ’13 and Katie Marino ’13 formed the a cappella group Hawkward in 2010, the singers never imagined the group would perform for a crowd of 3,000 at the Providence Performing Arts Center.

Yet this weekend -- on Saturday, March 21, at approximately 7:30 p.m. -- Hawkward, now 20 members strong, will perform front and center for some of Rhode Island’s biggest champions for the arts at PPAC’s Annual Gala fundraiser as the opening act for late-night television show host and stand-up comedian Jay Leno.

An avid fan of a cappella, Leno ultimately selected Hawkward as the “special guest” performers after conducting a search for a local group that began last fall. Five other collegiate, regional and semi-professional groups were considered for the opening role, but Hawkward emerged as the first choice early in the process.

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University to Lease One Empire Plaza, Double Its Providence Footprint

December 19, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In a move that will nearly double its footprint in downtown Providence and allow more students – law students, adult learners and undergraduates – access to enhanced learning and community engagement opportunities in the capital city, Roger Williams University has agreed to lease 76,566 square feet of space at One Empire Plaza from property owner Berkeley Investments, Inc.

RWU President Donald J. Farish, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Berkeley Investments Vice President Barbara Smith-Bacon joined other city, state and community officials for an event today at One Empire Plaza to announce the University’s expansion in Providence.

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Slideshow: Future Architects Put Market Theory into Practice

November 12, 2014

BRISTOL, R.I. – An elevated walkway with sweeping river views, a rooftop grapevine trellis whose arbor shades outdoor areas, and an open wood-frame structure evocative of barns are just some of the creative design elements conceived by architecture students last spring for a potential food hub and events space in Providence.

In a graduate-level urban design studio that doubled as a real client project via the Community Partnerships Center, a dozen future architects helped the Providence Food Market Steering Committee determine a vision for an indoor-outdoor market reminiscent of a Parisian street scene. Led by Anthony Piermarini – a principal at Studio Luz Architecture – the students evaluated properties around Providence and dreamt up grand (and innovatively small-scale) designs based on the committee’s desire for a market space for local farmers and fishermen to sell their catch, where chefs can offer cooking demonstrations, and provide a destination for neighbors to meet up and listen to live music.

For the Love of Roger: A Q&A with Author John Barry

November 21, 2012

BRISTOL, R.I. – For bestselling author John M. Barry, his most recent book chronicling the untold efforts of Roger Williams to define the roles of religion and power in a free society was a labor of love.

Starting with a kernel of an idea to write about the role of religion in 20th century America, Barry quickly realized he’d have to delve 200 years earlier to examine how the defining idea of the separation of church and state originated first in England and then rooted in American soil through the revolutionary principles of Roger Williams. As centuries of complex interconnections unfolded across eight years of research, the portrait of Williams – Rhode Island’s founder and the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty – as a political pioneer, radical, and religious prophet molded into a painstakingly examined history and riveting story of life and death in “Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State and the Birth of Liberty.”

Ideas for Reviving Providence’s Legendary Rail Tunnel

November 12, 2013

Editor's note: This story is part of the 10 on Tuesday series, which provides a fresh take on interesting university initiatives, research projects, campus happenings and more.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – When the 10 students in ARCH 416.02, an architecture design studio that Visiting Assistant Professor Jonathan Bell titled Invisible City, began exploring the reactivation of the abandoned rail tunnel that runs under Providence’s East Side, little did they know their ideas might capture the interest of anyone beyond the RWU campus.

But on a Thursday afternoon in September – after Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee donned a hard hat, toured the 5,080 feet of the tunnel and noted that “with a little imagination and can-do attitude, I’m sure [the tunnel] could be serviceable again” – the Invisible City classroom assignment suddenly had a very real-world audience.

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University, School of Law to Light up the Night at WaterFire

September 26, 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The flames of knowledge will burn bright in the heart of Providence this Saturday, Sept. 28, as Roger Williams University and the RWU School of Law join WaterFire Providence for a full lighting to celebrate the many significant community initiatives and intellectual contributions that characterize the University’s presence in the Ocean State.

The RWU-themed lighting will also serve as a celebratory evening acknowledging an array of anniversaries – including the law school’s 20th anniversary, 40 years of expertise in marine biology and the statewide recognition of the Rhode Island Colonial Charter’s 350th anniversary.

WaterFire will kick off at sunset (6:34 p.m.) and feature a special Ring of Fire Torch Salute to ignite the cauldrons that pepper the Providence River from Waterplace Park to Memorial Park. In that lighting ceremony – shortly before 7 p.m. in the Waterplace Park Basin – 100 torch bearers representing the University will pass the flame and begin the process of lighting up Providence.

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At WaterFire, University to Celebrate Past, Present and Plans to Come

May 3, 2013

Bristol, R.I. – In a year of milestone anniversary celebrations and an ever-expanding focus on serving individuals and communities across the State of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University has signed on to sponsor a full lighting of WaterFire Providence on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 28.

WaterFire Providence – artist Barnaby Evans’s unique flame-inspired cultural installation, which has attracted more than 10 million visitors since its 1994 debut – announced the University’s season sponsorship and unveiled its full summer events schedule in an appearance on WPRI’sThe Rhode Show” this morning.

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Community Partnerships Center to Support Revitalization of State’s Main Street Corridors

October 25, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee today announced a formal partnership between the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Roger Williams University to provide business support and other community revitalization efforts within the state’s core urban communities. The partnership was celebrated at a State House event today attended by Gov. Chafee, University President Donald J. Farish, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine and Paul McGreevy, special assistant to the governor at RIEDC.

“A key economic development priority of my administration is the revitalization of Rhode Island’s urban communities, especially our main streets in Providence, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Central Falls and West Warwick,” Governor Chafee said. “By engaging our educational institutions, we can begin to more actively utilize the skills and expertise of the excellent educational institutions within Rhode Island and also tap into the bright minds of our students for the good of the state’s economy.”

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