Equity & Inclusion

For nineteen years, FirstWorks has wielded the power of the arts to build community through inclusion and celebration of diversity. Through world-class artist residencies, FirstWorks engages the community and our youth with paths to activism, and mind-opening creativity — fostering new partnerships serving Rhode Island’s refugee and LGBTQ+ communities and offering opportunities to engage with the most pressing conversations of our time through the arts.

FirstWorks’ Commitment to Antiracism

FirstWorks is committed to antiracist practices in our organization and in our programming, recognizing the ongoing nature of this work and that we are in process. We acknowledge and condemn the systems of oppression that exist to cause harm to communities of color and recognize our complicity in these systems and our responsibility as a nonprofit and an arts hub to push for their demise. We also acknowledge that systems of oppression are interwoven to impact individuals across class, race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, and ability in ways that are complicated and far-reaching. We stand in gratitude, solidarity, and compassion with our community as we engage together in this work to address our histories, take charge of our present, and build our future. We honor the work that has been done and commit to the work ahead.

Land Acknowledgement

FirstWorks operates on the occupied homelands of the Narragansett and Wampanoag Nations, who have been here since time immemorial. We acknowledge the history and legacy of colonialism, one that stripped tribal lands through unjust land granting and illegal detribalization. Acknowledging the land is a step towards reconciling a complex and painful history and fostering a more inclusive culture. In committing our organization to the work of antiracism and decolonization we recognize the injustices done to these native peoples and seek ways to develop just and respectful relationships with the traditional stewards of this land.