top of page

How to Talk about Race in 2023

Ray Rickman has conducted over 300 diversity and race relations workshops for businesses, colleges and government agencies over the past 30 years. The former executive director of the Providence Human Relations Commission, he was EEO Officer for both Lifespan and the City of Providence. He is also a former president of the American Civil Liberties Union and is currently the executive director of Stages of Freedom, an organization that promotes Black culture for the entire community.

“How to Talk About Race in 2023” enables us to discuss race and racism with people who may be different from us. Ray is an expert on helping individuals talk with others about race in a positive manner. The subject of language use and how to value people who may be different or new to your community is part of this discussion.


This session is either a 45 minute lecture with questions and answers or a 2-hour, detailed, hands-on workshop that provides on-line tools that individuals can use to learn after the workshop is over. Our nation is at a cross roads and we need to talk.

Ray enjoys helping people find a positive personal role to play in improving race relations during these challenging times.


The Value of the Book

Making use of his extensive knowledge of rare and valuable books and his 30 years experience as a book dealer, Ray presents a hands-on workshop that answers the following questions: "What determines a books value?" and, "How and why does this value change over time?"


In the style of PBS's The Antiques Roadshow, attendees are invited to bring up to three books to be valued by Ray.  

Value of the Book



"The Value of the Book" program was enjoyed by all in attendance. I shared our positive experience with the Director of the Newton Library.


"I really enjoyed your lecture in Portsmouth because it skillfully exposed of the 

Vernon family’s political use of African slavery to effect the economic development

of Rhode Island.


I also like the way you chose to weave that message into a 

dialogue that examined the use of those types of political practices in R.I. today.

I tried to interject the term ‘institutional racism’ into the conversation to 

help you expand on those points. 


"Ray Rickman's Value of the Book program is a perfect program for libraries!  Mr. Rickman conveys his expert knowledge to audiences with humor, patience, and kindness.  Audiences can expect to learn what makes a book valuable.  Mr. Rickman, however, always gives audiences more.  Whatever his topic, he raises thoughtful questions and often provides a local context, especially in matters of race and racial justice. Audiences leave amazed, challenged, and grateful for the evening.


Ray was great and I heard many favorable comments from people as they left.  He certainly gave everyone something to think about.  It's hard to think inside someone else's skin and I believe that Ray accomplished that.  Super program.


The faculty and staff were delighted with the discussion and I especially appreciated your suggested modifications to how we can improve. The time and effort you put in were certainly worthwhile. It is a joy for me to work with such dedicated and talented professional. Your visit was a great support to the work needed in the area for our faculty, staff, and students. 


Saturday, June 17th @ 1:00

How to Talk About Race in RI

with Ray Rickman

at the

Brownell Library

in Little Compton

Wednesday, October 4th @ 6:30

The Value of the Book

with Ray Rickman

at the

Cranston Public Library

Tuesday, November 7th @ 6:30

How to Talk About Race

with Ray Rickman

at the

Cranston Public Library

Robb Programs

Stages of Freedom Program Director Robb Dimmick offers programs ranging from dramatic storytelling to engaging talks about the Black experience in the church in the kitchen and in literature. His talks, though RI-specific, have enormous regional and national import and include photographic images. Robb's Being Lincoln talk covers his 30 year career performing

as Abraham Lincoln throughout the country and is filled with humor and insight into creating and performing a one-man show. 


Robb has performed  at the Naval War College, Brown University, Trinity Rep, Providence Public Library, Museum of Our National Heritage, RI Historical Society, and hundreds of other sites.

In-state base fee for Robb's programming is $259; out-of-state (one hour or less travel) base fee is $299.


For out of state bookings beyond an hour's drive, consultation is required. Contact information may be found on our Contact Us page. 

bottom of page