About Us

Residents of the Newport, Rhode Island area have established a grass-roots organization to create a memorial marker in Newport. This is a community movement to commemorate and honor those many thousands lost in the Middle Passage of the slave trade which was centered in Newport from the 17th to early 19th centuries. We will also will honor those who survived the middle passage, thrived and created a broad and deep heritage which still enriches us to this day.

We have joined a national clearinghouse, the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Marker Project, which has identified forty-eight ports across the east coast of the United States (including Providence, Bristol and Warren, Rhode Island) which were destinations in the middle passage of the slave trade. In Newport, we have been meeting since January 2016, establishing goals, developing strategic plans, and starting community outreach with the goal of publicly launching the Newport Middle Passage and Port Marker Project.

Founding Committee:

Matthew Boyle – Educator, Thomas Middle School
Josephine Brown – Women’s Newport League
Peter Fay* – Jamestown, RI
Ernest B Gibbons, Jr. – Business Executive
Cynthia Hamilton, Ph.D. – Dept. Chair, Africana Studies, URI (ret.)
Victoria Johnson* – High School Principal, FL & RI (ret.)
Benedict Leca* – Director, Redwood Library
Carole Peterson – Mount Zion AME Church
Patricia Barry Pettit – Marketing Consultant, R.I.
John Pope – Certified Public Accountant
Judith K. Porter – Channing Memorial Church
Charles Roberts* – Director, First Night Newport
Earl Smith III – Assistant Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, URI
Brian Sullivan, Ph.D.- Founder, Newportant Foundation
Ruth Taylor – Director, Newport Historical Society
Gerald Williams – Talent Development Program, URI
James Winters – President NAACP
Eileen Westgate – Educator (ret.)

* Steering Committee Member