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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI's Feinstein Providence Campus to host Federal Reserve Bank's community development council annual meeting

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

Regional leaders to focus on reinvestment in urban communities like Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- July 14, 2004 -- The University of Rhode Island's Feinstein Providence Campus and the Urban Field Center located there, will host The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston New England Community Development Advisory Council's (CDAC) summer meeting on Monday, July 19. This will be the first CDAC meeting to be held in Providence.

URI Urban Field Center Executive Director Marcia Feld, whose three-year CDAC term ended in December 2003, worked with Federal Reserve Bank officials to organize the Providence meeting. More than 50 representatives from New England community development corporations, banks, local and regional governments, educators and individuals from the private sector will attend to review the revitalization of New England's urban communities in general, and of Providence specifically.

At 11:30 a.m., Feld, URI Provost M. Beverly Swan and Providence Mayor David Cicilline will welcome guests both to the University's Providence Campus and to the City of Providence. At 12:30 p.m. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President and CEO Cathy Minehan will provide a regional economic perspective.

In the afternoon, a panel presentation, "Reinvestment in the Urban Community: A Continuing Transformation," will consider a variety of issues involved with the initiatives underway in Providence.

Moderated by Housing Network Executive Director Brenda Clement, the panel and topics to be discussed include: Tom Deller, City of Providence planning director, will discuss how the city has maintained its revitalization; Arnold B. Chace Jr., president of Cornish Associates, will speak about the impact of tax credits on the process; Edward Mazze, dean of the University's College of Business Administration, will explore the role of small businesses; and Dean Esserman, chief of the Providence Police Department, will speak about community safety initiatives.

Founded and led by Feld, the University's Urban Field Center is well known for its entrepreneurial programs. For example, the group established the first partnership between URI and urban school districts including Providence and Pawtucket, organized a community-wide dropout prevention coalition, and worked with local communities in the development of leadership in housing and neighborhood revitalization. Graduate students in the University's College of the Environment and Life Sciences focusing on urban design have gone on to work in local and state planning departments in Rhode Island and nationwide.

The New England CDAC for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston provides a forum for representatives of community development organizations to share information about activities, issues, and barriers to community development in their regions; and serves as a mechanism to convey to the broader Federal Reserve System, indirectly through the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, perspectives on community development to which the Federal Reserve should be sensitive. The CDAC includes members from banks, state and local governments, foundations, community organizations, academic institutions, and private non-profit and for-profit developers. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston serves District I, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

For information: Thomas Lavelle, Federal Reserve Bank, 617-973-3647