Welcoming Rhode Island


Welcoming Rhode Island is a community-based initiative by Dorcas International that seeks to affirm RI as a welcoming place for all newcomers and that fuels the continuation of building strong, vibrant, and more cohesive communities across the state. This initiative encompasses various community projects as well as a huge annual FREE festival that celebrates newcomers every year: The Welcoming Rhode Island Festival (WRIF). While we are unable to celebrate in person at this time, we plan to do so in the near future. Stay tuned for more details.

For more than 10 years, each June, Dorcas International organized a major event for World Refugee Day that has brought thousands of people together in Rhode Island. And after seeing such great success and consistent support over the years, Dorcas International decided to transform this event into a greater and more encompassing day of diversity that broadened representation, welcomed all newcomers, and celebrated Immigrant Heritage Month.

As one of the largest agencies working to empower immigrants and refugees in Rhode Island for 100 years, Dorcas International strives to help people overcome cultural, educational, economic, and language barriers through its vital programs and services. And WRIF, as a part of the Welcoming Rhode Island initiative, is an event that wholly reflects the agency’s work and mission.

WRIF is invites people to explore cultures and to honor diversity, freedom, and their personal heritage. In past years, there has been live music, games, international foods, interactive activities, entertainment for children, exciting performances (ranging from belly dancing to African drumming), global artisans, a Maker’s Market, and more!

In 2019 We Celebrated WRIF at PVDFest!

In 2019 we invited our amazing supporters and PVDFest attendees to immerse themselves in a FREE unique, family-friendly and interactive multicultural experience at our station in Burnside Park on June 8, 2019.

This was our first-ever partnership with the City of Providence as a participant of PVDFest – and it was incredible! Hundreds of community members visited us at PVDFest and helped us celebrate newcomers and cultures from around the world.

WRIF 2019 Highlights:
• Live African drumming performance form Master Percussionist Sidy Maiga.
• Global Maker’s Market of talented artists, designers, and creators, including some of the people we serve.
• A site-specific photographic installation reflecting the power of human resilience.
• And an official naturalization ceremony conducted by Judge John J. McConnell Jr. where individuals took the Oath of Allegiance and received Certificates of Naturalization to officially complete the process of becoming U.S. Citizens. If you would like to see this incredible moment, you can watch the whole ceremony here.

#WRIF #AllAreWelcome

WRIF 2019


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