As the year comes to a close, I am reaching out to you as the President of the Rhode Island School for Progressive Education (RISPE). I would also like to thank our recent supporters who donated during our Giving Tuesday campaign. Your help is paramount to our grassroots efforts, and we could not have done it without your support.
At RISPE, we strongly believe that education is a vital component in molding the lives of young individuals. This belief was instilled in me by my parents at a young age, and it has continued to inspire me to this day.
Christine W. Alves
Founder and President
My RISPE Journey
Growing up in Queens as a child of Trinidadian immigrants, I spent my early years in a vibrant, diverse community. It wasn’t until high school, when I attended a private boarding school on scholarship, that I experienced the challenges of being a person of color in a predominantly white setting. This shift in my educational journey, which later led me to Brown University, opened my eyes to the complexities and importance of representation and diversity in education.
I was fortunate to have access to quality education that helped me overcome these challenges. However, I recognize that many students from BIPOC communities in Rhode Island are not as fortunate.
Photo of Patricia Santos, an alum from our Accelerated Elementary Teacher Certification Program (’23), in her classroom.
Bridging the Education Gap
In Rhode Island, there is a significant disparity between the racial and ethnic backgrounds of our teachers and students. Although a substantial percentage of our students come from BIPOC communities, this diversity is sadly not reflected in the state’s teaching workforce.
This gap significantly impacts students’ learning experiences and their ability to see themselves in their educators. RISPE’s mission, born out of a vision I share with Melanie Griffith and Tori Thomson, is to bridge this gap and create an educational environment where diversity in teaching is the norm. We want to ensure that every student can see a reflection of themselves in their teachers, mentors, and leaders.
Join the Movement
Today, I want to remind you of the significant impact your support can have on our cause. Your donations to RISPE are 100% tax-deductible, and regardless of their size, they are more than just a financial contribution.
By supporting RISPE before the end of the year, you demonstrate your commitment to creating a more just and equitable society. You provide students with the tools they need to succeed and help inspire a new generation of leaders who will work toward building a more inclusive and compassionate society.
President Christine Alves stands front and center with the RISPE team in Providence Innovation District Park.
Thank you for being an important part of our RISPE community. Please contribute by clicking the donate button above. Help us transform education with renewed hope for the new year.
Christine W. Alves