Mission & Vision

Gather RI’s mission is to help women and gender expansive people thrive in civic and professional life via role models and connections.

Gather RI will inspire and educate by spotlighting women and gender expansive people of achievement from around the globe in its Portrait Gallery, Biographical Library and ‘Meet Them’ speaker series, which will be open to the public.

In addition, our Changemakers Club will connect local women and gender expansive people who are creating our state’s future, and provide them with a safe, accessible haven to meet in.

Gather RI is a not-for-profit. Its center in Providence is currently being built and will open in mid-2025.

Our inspiration

Gather RI was inspired by interviews with women and gender expansive people discussing how an empowerment center could help with three types of challenges:

  1. Individual – Women and gender expansive people face systemic barriers to achieving their civic and professional goals.
  2. Communal  – The achievements of women and gender expansive people are routinely erased from history (aka ‘The Matilda Effect’) so others cannot be inspired or sustained by their examples. 
  3. Rhode Island – RI women and gender expansive changemakers are often silo-ed and disconnected from the support and wisdom of their peers and potential mentors.

Core Values

Gather RI’s decisions and evolution are driven by these five principles

Feminism – Our bedrock.

Connection – Individuals and organizations are stronger when they support each other (instead of competing.)

History – Spotlighting people’s achievements provides the shoulders for future generations to stand on.

Inclusion – Representation and accessibility must be consciously and continually baked in.

Haven – In addition to areas for the general public, spaces reserved for only women and gender expansive people are invaluable.

Timeline: Gather RI’s Development

2022 – Founding team begin stakeholder interviews; identify a building on Providence’s West End to be developed into the HQ; and, launch Gather RI’s virtual library catalog to track the 2,000+ biographies being acquired.

 2023 – Providence’s Historic District Commission grants conceptual approval for the planned building renovation and expansion; and, stakeholder interviews continue. 

First half 2024 – With assistance from The Dirt Palace, a feminist artist-run space project, Gather RI announces artist commissions for the launch exhibit of its Portrait Gallery.

Second-half 2024 – Expanded Founding Board to be named and staff job openings to be posted. Construction begins on building.

Mid2025 – Gather RI HQ scheduled to open, including the Portrait Gallery, Biographical Library, Meet Them speaker series and Changemakers Club.

People and Partnerships

Thanks to the many people and organizations across RI and the world who have already shared advice to help develop Gather RI. 

Would you like to be involved or give us advice? Please contact us!

Current Working Team

Anne Holland, Founding Member

Sheila Palmer, Operations Manager

Matthew Lawrence, Communications

The Dirt Palace, Portrait Gallery Commissions

Meghan Schulze and Matthew Cate, CSL Consulting – Building development and construction project management

Bernice Wahler Landscapes – Landscape Design

Charlotte Breed Handy, CBH Architect, LLC – Building Design Consultant

Pernilla Bergquist, Pernilla Interiors – Designer

Note: Contact us to be alerted when we have job openings.

Get Involved

You are invited to join Gather RI’s community of advisors, supporters and partners! Or, just contact us to ask a question. We are genuinely so interested to hear from you.