Our Welcoming Committee guides our initiative and is the driving force behind our complementary Welcoming strategies – communications and public engagement.  Welcoming committee members come from all walks of life and represent various sectors and fields including business, government, law enforcement, social services, education, arts and culture, and academia. Welcoming committee members commit their time and efforts to make their community more welcoming and assist with fundraising, recruiting volunteers and public engagement efforts.


“Welcoming Rhode Island represents what we as individuals and a community should be about which is to embrace diversity and treat everyone with dignity and compassion. I am proud to play a small role in the organization through Dorcas International Institute of RI.” – Aaron Rome




Committee Members

Tuba Agartan, Providence College
Toby Ayers, Rhode Island for Community and Justice
Jim Berson, Providence Plan
Anna Borchers, The Feast Church
Stephen Boyle, Cranston Chamber of Commerce & Cranston Rotary Club
Jackie Cambio, Cranston Public Schools
Amanda Heinsen, United Way of Rhode Island
David Jurado, Ernst & Young LLP
Nick Longo, Providence College Public Service & Global Studies Departments
Maria Mansella, East Providence School Department
Jeannine Nota-Masse, Superintendent, Cranston Public Schools
Paula McFarland, RI Community Action Association and Cranston School Committee
Lily McKay, School for International Training
Jody McPhillips, Center for International Journalists
Mercedes Monteiro, Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission
Conroy Outar, Patois Restaurant & Catering
Tushar Patel, India Association of Rhode Island
Maritza Perez, Rhode Island Department of Human Services
Elvys Ruiz, Rhode Island Department of Transportation/Office on Highway Safety
Grace Swinski, Cranston Family Center/COZ
Adriana Vargas, Providence Community Health Center
Dana Tatlock, The Wheeler School

Josh Pezold, BridgePointe Christian Church
“As a Pastor, Welcoming RI embodies the values of hospitality, kindness, and love that followers of Jesus are called to display to their community. Welcoming RI allows those in faith based communities to live out their faith in practical ways by intentionally loving and welcoming our immigrant neighbors. Jesus said it best in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This call to love begins with the call to welcome all our neighbors, embracing the diversity they bring with them.” – Josh Pezold, BridgePointe Christian Church