350th anniversary of Rhode Island's "lively experiment" in religious freedom
Ray Rickman is a businessman who is president of the Rickman Group, a consulting firm that raises funds and conducts management and diversity training for non-profits and small businesses. He is a former State Representative from the College Hill area and served as Rhode Island Deputy Secretary of State from 2000 to 2002. Among his many pieces of legislation was a bill to create the position of Poet Laureate. In the 1970s, Rickman served as Chief of Staff for United States Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Rickman has served as both Equal Opportunity Officer and Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission for the City of Providence. In the 1980s, he was the Associate Director of the Compliance Office for the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency. From 2004-2006, Rickman was the Assistant Director of the Diversity Office for Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest employer.
Rickman was Senior Policy Advisor for Shape Up RI, the largest state-wide wellness program in the country. He was also a strategic advisor to Shape Up the Nation, the for-profit arm of Shape Up RI. He was the lead consultant to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and Opera Providence, and is currently Senior Advisor to The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. He was recently appointed to the board of the Rhode Island Council on the Arts by Gov. Chafee.
Rickman is the former President of The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and was the Secretary of the Rhode Island Historical Society for seven years. He was also the first Treasurer of the Heritage Harbor Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate. In 2003, he founded Adopt A Doctor, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to 18 medical doctors in four of the world’s poorest nations: Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Malawi.
Rickman, a rare book dealer, is considered a leader in the promotion of African American history and offers lectures in the community on a range of cultural topics pertaining to African American history and American literature. He also conducts architectural and African American history tours of the Brown University area in Providence.