Brown and Providence Schools


Read answers to frequently asked questions about Brown’s Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence.

Brown established the Fund in 2007 as one outcome of a 2006 report issued by the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, which investigated the University’s historical relationship to the transatlantic slave trade. The committee recommended that Brown formalize its commitment to improving the quality of education for K-12 students in Providence. Each year, the fund provides sustainable financial support for initiatives that promote academic excellence and success for current and future generations of K-12 students in Providence.

In July 2020, Brown fully funded a permanent $10 million endowment for the fund. As an endowment, the fund will provide for annual spending in support of initiatives, which will ensure sustainable financial support and enable continuous improvement to teaching and learning in Providence. With the original $10 million in principle, Brown expects an annual payout of $400,000 to $500,000 that will go to supporting Providence schools and students. As an endowment, the fund will grow over time, and annual payouts will increase correspondingly.

A Public Education Committee, which includes representatives of Brown and the Providence community, makes recommendations to the University president on how funds will be used to best support Providence students. The president makes decisions on the recommendations with the advice and consultation of the Corporation of Brown University, Brown’s governing body.

Money from the fund can be used to support any Providence public school in alignment with Providence Public School District priorities. To date, funding has supported a wide range of initiatives, which support both individual schools and the district as a whole.

The mayor of the City of Providence and the superintendent of the Providence Public School District serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Public Education Committee and ensure the group is informed of city and district priorities.

The Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence is specifically dedicated to Providence in line with the recommendations of the Report of the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. The fund is one among dozens of many longstanding and new community engagement efforts led by Brown faculty, staff and students that support students in Providence and across Rhode Island. The Swearer Center organizes a range of community engagement activities, including mentoring programs. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform works closely with stakeholders to improve the quality of schools and the experiences of students while producing research that helps schools confront problems such as opportunity inequality and learning loss. Brown’s Department of Education embeds Master of Arts in Teaching students in classrooms as teachers for a full school year.

The membership of the committee is structured to ensure collaboration across the University as well as with members of the greater Providence community. Members include:

  • The Brown University president (chair)
  • Brown faculty
  • Brown staff
  • Brown students
  • Current or emeritus members of the Brown Corporation
  • Members of the Greater Providence community
  • Two ex-officio, non-voting members:
    • The Superintendent of the Providence Public School District
    • The Mayor of the City of Providence. 
  • Five ex-officio members of the Brown community:
    • The Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity
    • The Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform
    • The Chair of the Department of Education
    • The Director of the Swearer Center for Public Service
    • The Education Coordinator in the Annenberg Institute


Members of the Brown University community or the greater Providence community interested in serving on the committee should email

The committee will engage members of the Providence community on an ongoing basis. This includes a survey distributed every three years that provides an assessment of Brown’s K-12 education initiatives to ensure their continued alignment with the priorities of the Providence Public School District.