Media release

Rhode Island Foundation to re-launch statewide initiative to bring people together face-to-face to talk and listen

In increasingly divisive and polarized times, Together RI II will bring people together over neighborly meals across RI

The Rhode Island Foundation announced today that it will re-launch its Together RI initiative designed to get everyday Rhode Islanders talking and listening to each other over a free meal.

“When we did this four years ago, there already was a troubling tendency toward divisiveness and polarization. Now more than ever Rhode Islanders need a place for listening, reconnecting and inspiring constructive, civic and civil dialogue,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

Together RI will kick off July 14 in North Providence at Lancellotta’s Banquet Restaurant, 1113 Charles St., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eleven additional community get-togethers are scheduled through Nov. 15. The complete schedule is posted at

“We’ll offer people the chance to talk face-to-face with each other over family-style meals. Bring your ideas for improving your community and the local challenges you’d like to see addressed,” said Steinberg.

The get-togethers will take place at restaurants and community gathering spaces that are well known locally. The 12 locations were selected to provide convenient places to gather no matter where people live or work in Rhode Island. The events are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. The public can attend any of the sessions regardless of where they live. Register at

“Every voice in Rhode Island deserves to be heard. Grab a friend and join other engaged folks in your area for a free meal and positive discussion to highlight opportunities in your community and our state,” said Steinberg.

The Foundation will provide moderators to help guide the conversations, but participants will drive the topics and discussions. The findings will be shared with participants and the public after the final session.

In 2018, more than 1,300 people attended at least one of the Together RI get-togethers. The Foundation released the results in a report posted at

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $98 million and awarded $76 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2021. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit