"Without a sense of caring there can be no

 sense of community"



After the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston saw success and progress with the Working Cities Challenge in Massachusetts, they expanded the challenge to Rhode Island.

Newport was 1 of 13 cities to win funds to design a plan for the Working Cities challenge and was 1 of 3 to win the final implementation funds.

Why would the City need funds to make Newport more prosperous?

Most people visiting Newport drive off the bridge and go to the right towards the breathtaking vista, where the glamour of America's prosperity can be seen through the mansions, homes, shops and hotels.

However, if you drive to the left from the bridge, you will see a hidden neighborhood, a neighborhood manufactured to house and segregate built during the 1930s.

It is a square mile, cut off from the rest of Newport by 4 highways where thousands of families have been living in poverty for generations.

The neighborhood has a rich culture and history fighting for civil rights, building a community, residents who are hard workers, first and second generation Americans working 2-3 jobs to give their children better chances and opportunities.

The Newport Working Cities Challenge seeks to strengthen the ties of residents and activate systems change between sectors across the City to lessen the needless barriers for residents to achieve their dreams.

We strive to achieve our goal by building pathways for adults and students at the Florence Gray Center so every family can reach their career and neighborhood dreams.

Promote changes to policy to address the 'Cliff Effect' where families lose benefits more quickly without income to replace the cost.

Promote networking, collaboration, and civic leadership for residents and nonprofits across Newport and Aquidneck Island.


Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County (Backbone)

Child & Family

 City of Newport

 College Unbound

 Community College of Rhode Island

 East Bay Community Action Program

 Fab Newport

 Literacy Volunteers of East Bay

 Members of the School Committee and City Council

 Newport County Chamber of Commerce

 Newport Health Equity Zone

 Newport Housing Authority

 Newport Mental Health

 Newport Partnership for Families

 Newport Public Schools

 North End Neighborhood Association

 North End Residents

 Rhode Island Marine Trades Association

 Skills For Rhode Island’s Future



Rhode Island Housing

Rhode Island Commerce Corp.

Rhode Island Dept. of Labor & Training

Rhode Island Foundation

Delta Dental of Rhode Island


Local Initiative Support Corp.- RI

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Kresge Foundation

Living Cities

Bank of America


NeighborWorks America

Washington Trust Co.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Department of Health


Kathryn Cantwell

Strategic Initiative Director

I want to help the community and be there for those in need of help and someone to talk to. I aim to connect people with solutions to everyday struggles they might experience.

Lola Herrera

Conexion Latina

Joseph Pratt

Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County

Jack Alexander

North End Resident

Sarah Atkins

City of Newport

Louisa Boatwright

School Committee

Mayor Jamie Bova

City of Newport

Erin Donovan-Boyle

Chamber of Commerce

Barbara Fobes

North End Resident

Dianne Ford

Career and Education Pathways AmeriCorps VISTA

Elizabeth Fuerte

Newport Health Equity Zone

Ray Gomes

School Committee

Rebecca Gomez

East Bay Community Action Program

Chris Gross

Fab Newport

Brian Hannon

East Bay Community Action Program

Steve Heath

Fab Newport

Dr. Colleen Burns Jermain

Newport Public Schools

Tom Kowalcyk

North End Resident

Rex LeBeaux

Transportation; Newport Health Equity Zone

George Lindesey

North End Resident

Jasmine Lindesey

Cliff Effect Lead Resident

Nycole Matthews

Community Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA

Denise McBride

North End Resident

Elizabeth McDowell

East Bay Community Action Program

Latisha Michel

Newport Health Equity Zone

Rhonda Mitchell

Newport Housing Authority

Phyllis Mulligan

Dream Room Strategy Lead Resident

Orlando Peace

North End BGC Director

Pastor Michael Perez

MBA, Cross Point Church

Ellen Pinnock

Fab Newport, AmeriCorps Check and Connect

Rebecca Polan

Church Community Housing

Laura Rossier

North End Resident

Susan Taylor

City of Newport City Council

Joseph Tomchak

Deputy Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County

Jessica Walsh

Womens' Resource Center