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PowerPlayer: Jim Vincent

Monday, June 13, 2011


You probably know GoLocalProv's latest PowerPlayer from his always entertaining show on public cable access, or from his position as the new president of the Rhode Island chapter of the NAACP, or from seeing him in the community (he’s everywhere).

Jim Vincent is definition of what it means to serve your community. The 59-year old grew up in Boston, and has spent his career working in housing and community development in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania, and (most importantly) Leadership Rhode Island grad took some time out of his hectic to schedule over the weekend to chat with GoLocalProv about what’s he’s been up to.

1) You recently replaced the legendary Cliff Monteiro as head of the NAACP. Compare and contrast your style of leadership versus his.  Cliff's style was drawn more from the civil rights movement; my style is based more on contemporary realities.

2) Take us through a day in your life.  I am focused on the mission of Rhode Island Housing in assisting Rhode Islanders whenever I can on housing and community issues. To that end, my week is full of night and weekend meetings and events.

3) Education is often referred to as the civil rights issue of our time. What can we do to make sure our minority students are getting the best education possible?  We need many more teachers and administrators who believe in the full potential of children of color and who "live and die" with the students' successes and failures.

4) What is the single biggest problem plaguing the African-American community today?  Lack of equal access and opportunity in a number of areas, particularly, employment, education and health. There are huge disparities in virtually every area because of unequal treatment.

5) You run a really great show on RI PBS. Tell us about what made you start the show. Who has been your favorite interview?  I started the show to give people of color consistent access to electronic media.  My favorite interview was Mayor Angel Taveras as a candidate for mayor.

6) Tell us something nobody knows about you.  I played the drums in my junior high school orchestra.

Quick Hitters

Role Model: Congressman John Lewis of Georgia

Favorite Restaurant: Rosinhas in Pawtucket

Best Beach: Horseneck

Best Book You've Read In The Last Year: Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Advice for the next Jim Vincent: Stay focused, never forget where you came from, integrity means everything

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