June 2021 Newsletter
Emerging Leaders Program now accepting participants for Fall 2021
RIBBA is now accepting participants for the fall 2021 Emerging Leaders Development Program Pilot  

In response to the insufficient representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color) professionals in senior leadership and senior executive positions in the state of Rhode Island, RIBBA, has developed the Emerging Leaders Development Program in partnership with the University of Rhode Island Office of Strategic Initiatives.

The Emerging Leaders Program prepares high-performing BIPOC professionals for advancement into senior leadership and executive roles while raising their visibility as a force within their organization and community. This 6-month leadership program is designed to provide participants with the additional knowledge, skills and tools that they will need to take their career to the next level.

Are you a Providence Small Business Looking for FREE Business Support Services?
Our business development programs and services are here to help Providence-based minority businesses receive the essential resources they need to achieve sustainable growth.

Fill out an application here to begin receiving FREE business services or contact us for more information.
Closing Disparity Gaps Through Intentional Community Investment Panel
June 24th from 8-9:30 am
$1.78 Billion Dollars of COVID stimulus dollars are entering the state. What does it mean for you, your family, your business, schools, and community?

Join us for a panel event with local leaders to discuss how to mobilize communities, put the decision-making power back in community hands, and spend funds intentionally. The pandemic has shown us the reality of the wealth gap - and has only increased its size. These four leaders will share their knowledge and insight on how to close disparity gaps through short term investment and long-term strategy.

Featured panelists: 
  • Neil Steinberg: President & CEO at Rhode Island Foundation 
  • Tiara Mack: Rhode Island Senator, District 6
  • Rachel Flum: Director of Strategy; Senior Policy Analyst for Income Supports at Economic Progress Institute 
  • Junior Jabbie: President & CEO at Banneker Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. 
  • Moderator - Barbara Morse Silva: Newscaster at NBC10
LEAP Initiative for Young Adults:
Leveraging Linkedin for Career Building, Networking & Job Search
Thursday, June 17th from 6-7:30 pm
Join this hands-on, highly interactive webinar where we'll discuss ways to reach out to connections & professionals in your target industry, ask for networking meetings (informational interviews), and grow your reputation by contributing on your home page, via micro blogs and in groups.
Born to Lead - Business Highlight: Born-O Uniforms

RIBBA’s mission is made possible by a stellar community of businesses, staff, volunteers, and supporters. We’d like to place a spotlight on one of the members of this incredible network: Born-O Uniforms. 

Elisabeth Borno, CEO & Co-Founder of Born-O Uniforms, knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue an entrepreneurial path. During her childhood, she learned firsthand about the opportunities and challenges of business ownership as her parents, originally from Haiti, did this successfully, and in turn helped her to create a similar life vision. Knowing full well the dynamic journey of being an entrepreneur, Elisabeth’s mother encouraged her to have another formal career before venturing into business full time. Although her steps did not take her down this road immediately, she upheld the patience and tenacity to keep moving toward her dream despite obstacles along the way.  

As a survivor of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake and having experienced homelessness, Elisabeth is very familiar with overcoming adversity. Two of the most outstanding and consistent aspects of Elisabeth’s story are her unwavering commitment to her life’s vision, as well as her incredibly resilient and vibrant spirit. Three months after surviving the earthquake, Elisabeth’s parents made arrangements for her to attend nursing school in the Dominican Republic. It was during her time on the front lines of the nursing profession that she found her passion and witnessed a need for increased access to high quality medical resources. After considering how she could combine her passion for serving her community and giving back with ensuring appropriate access to quality medical resources, Elisabeth co-founded Born-O Uniforms along with her husband, Yves, in 2018. 
Juneteenth 2021 Festival: Saturday, June 19th from 12-8 pm
at Roger Williams Park, Temple to Music (Providence, RI)

RIBBA is a proud sponsor of this year's Juneteenth Festival

For more information, call 401-288-7864
Scholarships Being Accepted - Deadline Extended to June 25
We are accepting applications for our 2021 Scholarship.

Scholarship award amounts vary from $500-$1000 for each individual student. To date, RIBBA has given out over $45,000 in scholarships to Black students entering college or university.

The deadline for applications is 4:00 pm on June 25, 2021.

RIBBA Team Highlight: Tomeka Johnson - Program Assistant
Tomeka Johnson is the Program Assistant at RIBBA, where she plays a huge role in the success of each intricate part of RIBBA’s programs, services, and operations. From being the first point of contact for clients seeking services, to on-boarding new members, to coordinating board meetings and ordering supplies – Tomeka ensures each is delivered effectively and efficiently.
Prior to working at RIBBA, Tomeka was a counselor for CODAC Inc. where she provided resource assistance and weekly counseling to patients to increase their life stability. She was a case manager, tutor coordinator, adult education specialist, and development assistant at the Nonviolence Institute for 3 years as well as the Development Assistant for La Salle Academy. Tomeka received her case management certification from RIC and her Pharmacy Tech 1 license through a CVS funded program at the Providence Skills Center.
RIBBA Holds Board Orientation to Welcome New Members
RIBBA held a Board Orientation this month to welcome new members, introduce them to current Board Members and Staff, and re-align our mission, values, and purpose.
To learn more about our current board, click here.
We are still recruiting new members. To learn more and apply, click here.
RIBBA's General Membership Body Meeting
Join us for our monthly membership general body meeting. This month's General Membership Body Meeting is starting at 6 pm and will include important updates, bid opportunities, an open feedback portion, and presentations on relevant opportunities for our community.

Featured Presenters:

  • Matthew Spoehr: Lead Economic Development Specialist at Rhode Island District Office for U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Robin Dionne: Public Relations Director at Health Exchange RI

Welcome New Members
Volunteer Opportunities
RIBBA’s impact is dependent on not just staff, but also the dedicated volunteers in our community that support our very important work. Below are our current volunteer opportunities.

RIBBA is always looking for skills-based volunteers to help drive our mission forward. Please click below to share your your volunteer interest with the team.
Become a member
Discover the power of an ally, advocate, & change agent standing behind you, your business, career & our community. 
You can have an impact today
Your contribution will provide direct support for
RIBBA’s programs and services that directly impact Rhode Island's Black Business community.