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Rhode Island Foundation Stands By Funding Providence Teacher Hiring Program That Discriminates Against Whites

Rhode Island Foundation Stands By Funding Providence Teacher Hiring Program That Discriminates Against Whites

Compares racially discriminatory hiring program to picking one academic field to support over another: “It’s not anything against other [white] teachers, just that’s an area, just like could be science teachers.”

The Rhode Island Foundation (RIF) is the largest community charity in the state, and one of the largest in the country. It has approximately $1.5 billion in assets, and funds almost $100 million per year in grants and programs funding a variety of good causes. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a major priority for RIF, including prioritizing grantee institutions led by “people of color.”

Rhode Island Democrat congressman David Cicciline will resign from Congress in June 2023 to become President of RIF. It’s a sweet gig that will net him several hundred thousand dollars in salary and compenstation. Hiring Cicilline is a risk for RIF, because Cicilline is one of the most aggressive and vitriolic politicians in D.C., and that’s saying a lot. RIF already is viewed with suspicion by many because of its obvious liberal leanings, and Cicilline in command will reinforce that perception.

Cicilline’s hiring comes on the heels of a controversy swirling around RIF due to its funding of a program administered by the Providence Public School District (PPSD) as part of its employment hiring practices to provide loan forgiveness to newly hired teachers — but only for non-white teachers. Prospective and newly hired white teachers need not apply. Indeed, the program is called the “Educators of Color Loan Forgiveness Program,” with even the name making it clear who gets this employment benefit.

Legal Insurrection Foundation has challenged this discriminatory employment program by filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, which made a referral of the matter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Despite knowing of our complaint, PPSD continues to promote and use the program. The details of the loan forgivenss program and other discriminatory PPSD practices are set forth in these posts:

PPSD’s openly discriminatory policies (of which there are more than what we have written about so far), was an impetus to creating the Equal Protection Project (, as I discussed recently on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Equal Protection Project ( Launched To Fight Equity Discrimination:

So what does the Rhode Island Foundation think of all this? Is it proud of its role in financing a teacher hiring program that discriminates on the basis of race?

We now know the answer to that question. Neil Steinberg, the current President of RIF, was interviewed by Tara Granahan, one of the better known local radio hosts. You should listen to the whole interview, embedded below.

Here is a key excerpt, in which Steinberg defends the Educator of Color Loan Forgiveness Program, and suggests that it’s nothing unusual, likening it to a program that supports hiring a particular subject matter teacher or particular medical specialist.

(transcript auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)(emphasis added)

Granahan: Neil Steinberg from the Rhode Island Foundation on the line with me. Just, you mentioned off the top, and when we were talking about now there’s a lot of eyeballs and a lot of ears open. Because Congressman Cicilline s leaving, and then we’ve got a special election and what, what is this Rhode Island Foundation? So all of a sudden you’re kind of pushed into the, into really into the spotlight. And you mentioned, you know, it was mentioned on CNN, the Rhode Island Foundation was also thrown into a conversation, on Fox yet just last night, yesterday. And they say, oh, there’s an organization, in Providence, Rhode Island, where the Providence Public School District is, you know, they’re saying they’re criticizing a program that I do believe comes from the Rhode Island Foundation, where you will make good on loans for teachers of color. But this is Fox News. This is the Legal Insurrection Foundation. Very right leaning. This somehow got to them. He jumps up on Tucker Carlson and says, it’s not fair to the white teachers. Now, this is something that has, may have been going on for years, and now all of a sudden you’re shoved into the political limelight here.

Steinberg: Yeah. And, and you know, to be honest, we stay true to the work. So, you know, in the city of Providence, 80% of the kids are, are kids of color, and about 10 to 20% of the teachers, it’s been well documented that if the teachers, we have more teachers that look like the kids, they respond better to learning, and there’s a teacher shortage. So all of those things are just, you know, they’re well known.

We had the opportunity, and actually a lot of what we do is donors come to us and say, Hey, could you put together a program where we could recruit and retain more teachers of color? It’s not anything against other teachers, just that’s an area, just like could be science teachers. But there was a shortage. And so that’s what we did. We put together a program. Donors are funding it. It’s not any city or state money, and it is to help pay back loans for teachers that come to Providence and stay in Providence for a few years. We did that in the past to recruit primary care physicians. You know, there’s a shortage of primary care physicians. Several years ago we were involved in that, in helping loan repayment. But a lot of what we do, we do because there’s a need and because there are donors that are interested in meeting that need.

Of course, racial discrimination in hiring by a public entity is nothing like choosing to support one academic subject matter teacher rather than another, or hiring a primary care physician when there is a shortage in that specialty. And just because some donors want you to support discriminatory programs doesn’t mean a charity like RIF should do it. And no, it’s not well-documented that the race or color of a teacher matters, as Wenyuan Wu recently debunked, The “Racial Pairing” Fallacy.

Anyway, here is the full interview.with RIF President Steinberg

(If player does not load, Click here)

We will continue to expose discriminatory programs and practices in the Providence Public School District and elsewhere, and to the extent money from charities like the Rhode Island Foundation is funding it, we will shine the light on that as well.

Call me an optimist, but while Cicilline joining RIF is a risk, it’s also an opportunity. Cicilline is a very savvy operator, and he has to understand that funding racially discriminatory programs puts RIF at potential legal and reputational risk.


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Why do people with young families voluntarily reside in Rhode Island?

Cicilline Is resigning. Please, Prof. Jacobson, run for congress !

    Eric R. in reply to JustSayN2O. | February 26, 2023 at 8:24 am

    When in 2022, a Republican ran for Congress in RI – a year favorable for Republicans and still lost by 7 points, I think you realize that in the People’s Republic of Rhode Island, running as a Republican is an exercise in futility.

    Our host would have a better chance being elected as a Republican to the Central Committee of the North Korean Communist Party Central Committee.

If this is a private entity, and it is not the teachers’ employer, but is merely paying off their loans once they are hired by the public school district, then it sounds legal to me. Racial discrimination by government entities violates the 14th amendment, and racial discrimination by employers violates the civil rights laws. The public school district is both; but the RIF is neither. So if the district is telling black teachers, “Join us and we will pay off your loans, using funds donated to us by the RIF”, that’s plainly illegal. But if it’s hiring on a non-discriminatory basis, but informing applicants that “If you’re black and you join us, this friendly outside entity will pay off your loans”, that seems legal.

Even if there were some private entity willing to pay off the loans of white teachers who join the district, the district would not be required to advertise that fact. It could, as a matter of policy, remain silent about the white teachers’ program while advertising the black one.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | February 25, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    My thoughts as well. Discriminatory but legal. Even if an activist court wanted to curtail a similar program for white teachers, they probably wouldn’t because of the legal precedent. Think about all of the scholarships for minorities (and the grift/tax evasion that goes along with it) that could be sued were this to gain any traction.

      “…Think about all of the scholarships for minorities…that could be sued” And arguably SHOULD be, unless one assumes Civil Rights laws are a one-way ratchet – as they have been for 60 years! I’ve never understood how courts reconcile being racist with eliminating racism. I had some sympathy in the 70s, but now? It is simply a power grab. Maybe it still sells in RI where self-hating whites dominate, but try explaining to Mexican and Asian immigrants – now over half of California’s population – why they need to be discriminated against.

        healthguyfsu in reply to WRy198. | February 26, 2023 at 3:32 pm

        I don’t disagree with you, but the rich and powerful will protect their interests.

        Ain’t it funny how you can’t refuse to bake a cake or serve someone food but the ultra rich with their “charitable” (tax shelter) vehicles can behave on discriminatory whims.

          Milhouse in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 27, 2023 at 2:58 am

          No, it’s not “funny” (i.e. peculiar) at all. Private entities, which are not public accommodations, employers, or landlords, have every legal right to discriminate any way they like. Why shouldn’t they? What law did you think would or should prevent them?

          M Poppins in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 27, 2023 at 1:15 pm

          creating a cake – because it’s not generic baking -,and serving food are two completely different things; to conflate them is cultural illiteracy. A server isn’t an artisan.

          Milhouse in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 27, 2023 at 3:25 pm

          Well, that’s Mr Phillip’s argument. So far the courts have rejected it, and the Supreme Court never got to it the last time he was there. There are two separate arguments for his case. The one he started out making was that creating his cakes is inherently expressive, and therefore he is different from most cases. If he wins on that one, then it won’t help those who are not engaged in creative work.

          The other argument is that even an ordinary baker, or dressmaker, florist, wedding venue, or other vendor, when they refuse to become an accomplice in an act they consider to be wrong, are not engaging in unlawful discrimination and thus should not be compelled to provide the service requested. The proof is that they are happy to sell the same goods or services to the same plaintiffs, if it’s for some purpose other than their purported “marriage”. A victory on those grounds would be a lot better.

        Milhouse in reply to WRy198. | February 27, 2023 at 3:01 am

        “…Think about all of the scholarships for minorities…that could be sued” And arguably SHOULD be,

        Sued on what grounds? What law do you think they could possibly be violating?

        unless one assumes Civil Rights laws are a one-way ratchet – as they have been for 60 years!

        What do you mean by “a one-way ratchet”? That they move things always in the direction of banning more things and never unbanning them? Or what?

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Milhouse. | February 26, 2023 at 9:18 am

    “PPSD is offering loan forgiveness for educators of color through a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.”

      Yes, but that may not be technically accurate. Or that may not be the way RIF sees it. In any event, even if PPSD is breaking the law, RIF appears not to be.

        BierceAmbrose in reply to Milhouse. | February 26, 2023 at 7:34 pm

        One wonders if govt action by proxy cuts both ways — govt enlisting “private” entities to do what it is forbidden, “private” entities enlisting government to do what it is forbidden.

        One also wonders how tiny the fig leaf before it ceases to provide modesty in such things.

        Asking for The Zuck(*), not just the Feebs, who between them cover this officially non-action — nudge, nudge, wink, wink — in both directions.

        Meanwhile, I can name a couple bakers who would be very happy if civil rights enforcement was limited to employers.

        (*) For those who forgot, or are inclined to pretend to… We know The Zuck funded “non-partisan” “get out the vote” efforts that just happened to be in areas heavily leaning toward his preferred party in multiple elections. We know because he bragged about it in public, including the scamishness of the scam. Then he blinked with his third eyelids, but that’s a different issue.

        BUT, that wasn’t political spending, we’ve been told, because it was “get out the vote.”

          Meanwhile, I can name a couple bakers who would be very happy if civil rights enforcement was limited to employers.

          And public accommodations, and landlords. If there’s some anti-discrimination law, somewhere, that covers anyone else, I’ve never heard of it.

          M Poppins in reply to BierceAmbrose. | February 27, 2023 at 1:20 pm

          again, the word baker is inaccurate to describe the artisanship that goes into creating a wedding cake. I refer you to the work of Sylvia Weinstock. It’s like calling Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik a cobbler, or Coco Chanel a seamstress.

        Pepsi_Freak in reply to Milhouse. | February 27, 2023 at 9:19 pm

        Maybe RIF isn’t breaking the law, but we’d need to drill down here. If a Foundation, (charity?) is administering a discriminatory program, is it OK just because they’re using money provided by private individuals to pay for the discrimination? Aren’t most 501(c)(3)s using private donations to do their activities?

          Milhouse in reply to Pepsi_Freak. | March 1, 2023 at 12:43 am

          Sure, why would it not be OK? What law would they be breaking? How do you think the United Negro College Fund is legal and has a 501(c)(3)? And of course the same would apply to a “United White College Fund” if someone were to start one.

    alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | February 26, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Legal but we know that it’s a one way street that only their private entities can do. If it improves overall performance…have at it. Should it fail…then the simple excuse will be persistent white supremacy.

      Milhouse in reply to alaskabob. | February 27, 2023 at 11:09 am

      That’s not true at all. These laws have never been enforced unequally. I don’t know which of “our” entities would want to do this sort of thing, but if they want to they can and no law would attempt to stop them.

Only 15% of the black population have 100 IQ and up. No where near enough competent people to fill teaching or any other positions at the rate they think they deserve. That is how Affirmative incompetence rose to current levels.

    M Poppins in reply to JohnSmith100. | February 27, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    That’s just not true. Clarence Thomas isn’t a freak of nature.

      Milhouse in reply to M Poppins. | February 27, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      He’s not a freak of nature, but he’s on the far right end of the bell curve. Only a small percentage even of white people can match his intelligence; the percentage of black people who can do so is even tinier.

Diversity [dogma] (e.g. racism, sexism, ageism, and other class-disordered ideologies) realized through DIEversity. Lose your Pro-Choice ethical religion. Lower your albinophobic banner. #HateLovesAbortion

In 1964 they were up in arms too.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to 2smartforlibs. | February 26, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    I remember it well, they destroyed countless, many owned by blacks. There is a video showing pictures of those areas, before and decades after. Miles of grassy land where those businesses were at. I had a black friend , now deceased, who bought up a bunch of 4 story apartment buildings and personally remodeled apartments, one at a time. He was very industrious, rather than learn from his example, many blacks resented him, that is the essence of what makes losers, a combination of dumb and lazy.

Pecking about the edges again as befits a conquered, emasculated people. Why must large loans be incurred to teach? A distinguished CV in a particular field or a passing grade in a rigorous subject examination should be all that is necessary to teach. BS teaching degrees are a scam. Teach at the highest level, relentlessly employing memorization and discipline. Expel those who cannot keep up and allow them to find their place in well funded prisons.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to E Howard Hunt. | February 26, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    Unfortunately, teaching has become a dumping ground for lots of incompetent people, much like social work. I had a high school physics teacher who had an electrical engineering degree, a masters in mathematics and was just out of the military after 8 years, he taught one year and then became a large animal veterinarian. He built his own house and then his own clinic. Just before that my father, grandfather and I built a house after fleeing fleeing Flint Mi. I went on to do the same.

Suburban Farm Guy | February 27, 2023 at 7:42 am

They claim that the teachers have to look like the students for education to take place. Well…. If black kids can’t learn from white teachers….

… why should schools be integrated?

“ Legal Insurrection Foundation has challenged this discriminatory employment program by filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, which made a referral of the matter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”

If it is true that the Rhode Island public schools are promoting an openly racist policy, why not seek an immediate injunction in Federal Court?

I don’t see anyone mentioning what should be an obvious question: does this discrimination threaten RIF’s tax-exempt status? I am unable to determine RIF’s status from their website, but I’d guess it is a 501(c)3 organization. Or perhaps it’s a 501(c)4 organization?

    Why would it threaten their tax-exempt status? Is there anything in the tax code that says organizations that discriminate on racial grounds can’t be tax-exempt, if they otherwise qualify?

      Pepsi_Freak in reply to Milhouse. | February 27, 2023 at 9:30 pm

      I don’t know what standards they have to meet to keep their tax-exempt status. There are some exemptions for e.g., religious organizations, but for teachers?

I thought discrimination on the basis of race was a crime!

Dems are returning to their racist ways. Their just like the party that fought to keep blacks in chains and oppressed.