As the only statewide advocate for Rhode Island's historic places...
Preserve Rhode Island works with individuals and groups to provide advocacy and technical assistance at the local, regional, and statewide level. From homeowners to community groups to preservation and conservation partners - PRI is working hard to protect Rhode Island's unique and historic places.
Constitutional Amendment to Change the Name of the State
Preserve Rhode Island supports the ballot measure to change the official name of the state from “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to “State of Rhode Island” and urges Rhode Island voters to vote “yes” on Ballot Question 1.
The public discussions about changing the state’s name this summer and fall have made clear that the word “plantation” has come to be inextricably connected with slavery and its legacy in the United States. This association is painful to many people. While Preserve Rhode Island acknowledges that the historical use of the word “plantation” in Rhode Island’s name was not directly related to slavery, the current connotations of the word are hurtful.
Preserve Rhode Island is committed to examining our individual roles and responsibilities as citizens and the role of our organization in confronting institutional and individual racism and inequity. Preserve Rhode Island is adding an equity lens to
our work and is engaged in finding ways to understand, listen, and speak up as
leaders in preservation and contributors to history’s interpretation. Supporting the state’s name change is only one step of many that Preserve Rhode will make as it strives to be more inclusive and advocate for a community that is supportive of everyone. Changing the state’s name does not erase or minimize the history of the founding of the state. Rather, it is an opportunity to declare that diverse perspectives and backgrounds are part of Rhode Island’s history and culture and those voices are not only heard but valued and respected.