On Wednesday, November 6th, Elected Officials, Community Leaders and Staff members of each Rhode Island CAP agency gathered at the Marriott in the first meeting of its kind. The Rhode Island Community Action Association is a trade association for a statewide network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) who, for over fifty years, have been the safety net for economically disadvantaged and working individuals and families. Independently and collectively the CAA Agencies are working to eliminate the causes and effects of poverty and to open doors to self-sufficiency and better lives for more than 185,000 Individuals and 90,000 Households. Unifying the efforts of CAP agencies around the state was the biggest part of the message given that morning.
"We've got big issues and big problems," said Rilwan Feyisitan, Executive Director of CAPP & co-chair of RICAA. "And we need to be part of those solutions."
"This doesn't happen by accident," he continued. "There's been a lot of work that's gone on over the years to make sure that when bad things happen that the state knows they can come to Community Action and that we're going to be able to respond and be responsive and we're going to get things done and be effective....collectively we can make change."
Later in the program, Governor Gina Raimondo praised the work of CAP agencies are doing to lift Rhode Islanders out of poverty and pledged "We are going to continue to do everything we can to help support your work."
Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea presented each agency's Executive Director with a special certificate of acknowledgement and the RICAA co-chairs were given a Special Recognition from Governor Raimondo celebrating 55 years of CAA's giving back to the citizens of Rhode Island.
Speakers included RI Association of Community Action Agencies co-chairs Rilwan Feyisitan (Executive Director of CAPP) and Paul Salera (CEO of West Bay Community Action)
The Honorable Nellie M. Gorbea, Secretary of State
Courtney E. Hawkins, Director of the RI Department of Human Services
Vincent Marzullo, President of RI AARP
Last but not least, Governor Gina M. Raimondo joined us as well.
photographs provided courtesy of Alisha Pina, DHS