Rhode Island Innovation Fellows receive up to $300,000 over three years to test and implement innovative ideas that could dramatically improve an area of life in Rhode Island. Up to two Fellows are selected annually. In 2017, the Innovation Fellows are focusing on one challenge for Rhode Island: increasing and improving civic engagement.
Donna Childs and Ditra Edwards, 2017 Innovation Fellows
Donna Childs and Ditra Edwards were chosen from nearly 200 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship applicants to pursue their proposals for improving civic engagement.
Donna will launch the “Civic Resilience” project, a technology-enabled credit bank that tracks volunteer service, enabling participants to save and trade service hours. She will focus first on volunteerism in the area of climate and disaster resilience.
Ditra will launch SistaFire RI to train a statewide network of women of color to actively engage their communities in addressing issues important to them, building a coalition that can connect women across the state to address issues of economic opportunity.
In addition to the two Fellows, there were three finalists in this year’s process:
Samantha's project, Anchors Up!, aims to bridge the gap between urban and rural communities in Rhode Island by pairing high school classes from an urban and rural community to examine issues and take action to improve each community.
Dorothy's project, The Police/Youth Collaboration, develops workshops which utilize improvisational role-play as a medium to equip both police and at-risk youth with tools of emotional intelligence necessary to de-escalate conflicts that arise amid interactions between the two groups.
Johanna's project, RI Rising, engages millennials by creating a new kind of media hub that will become a one-stop shop for everything Rhode Islanders need to know about local politics and how to get involved in their community.
Learn more about the Fellows and their projects and see photos from the announcement.