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Our Mission:

1) To provide youth of color access to swimming programs in order to reduce the number of drownings in the minority community. 


2) To build community by creating and providing programming about Black Rhode Island life and culture to a wide audience.


3)  To educate and empower inner-city youth by providing cultural opportunities and access to museums and live performance.

Our Background:


Stages of Freedom has at its core Swim Empowerment, a statewide program that provides free swimming lessons at nine partnering YMCAs for about 500 Rhode Island African American youth each year. It offers regular cultural and arts programming and empowerment workshops for Black youth.


Additionally, Stages of Freedom promotes African American history and culture through a series of  events for adults and youth. It also operates a museum of Rhode Island African American history and a non-profit bookstore, proceeds from which help fund Swim Empowerment.


The leadership of Stages of Freedom is actively involved in health, wellness and civil rights concerns.

Non-Discrimination Policy:

Adopted by the Board of Directors on June 30, 2016


Stages of Freedom does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

Stages of Freedom is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.