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.
How to talk about Slavery in 2023
Ray draws on his extensive knowledge of both Rhode Island history and African American history/culture to highlight the effect Slavery had and continues to have on this state. He explains the economic basis of slavery and its African origins.
He provides detailed information on how many Rhode Islanders were involved and how it elevated the entire economy of the state. Attention is paid to every aspect of the trade including manufacturing of “Negro” cloth and the building of slave ships with wood and material from most towns in Rhode Island.
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.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS
ANN THOMAS, UXBRIDGE LIBRARY DIRECTOR
"The Value of the Book" program was enjoyed by all in attendance. I shared our positive experience with the Director of the Newton Library.
CHARLES R., PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY PATRON
"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.
JOYCE MAY, EAST PROVIDENCE LIBRARY DIRECTOR
"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.
CAROLYN MAGNUS, PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY DIRECTOR
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.
RANDY SANDERS, QVCC ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
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.
Due to COVID-19, there are no upcoming speaking engagements at this time.
Please check back soon.
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.