Raymond L. Watson
Raymond L. Watson was born and raised in Providence, RI, growing up in the city’s Mt. Hope and Fox Point neighborhoods. He is a product of the Providence Public School system, graduating from Classical High School in 1997. After completing a post-graduate year at Northfield-Mt. Hermon Prep School in Massachusetts in 1998, Raymond went on to graduate from Union College in Schenectady, NY with a BA in Political Science in 2002. While attending Union Raymond was initiated as a Brother of the Pi Pi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first inter-collegiate Black Greek letter organization in history. He then continued his studies at the University of Rhode Island, graduating in 2005 with a Masters Degree in Community Planning, concentrating in Housing and Community Development.
Considering himself to be a community activist/advocate at heart, Raymond is very active in the Providence, RI community. He currently serves as Ketasoot Sâchem for the Historic Mashapaug Narragansett Tribe (Providence, RI), and is also an Executive Member of Eastern Medicine Cultural, LLC and a Member of the Eastern Medicine Singers Native American Drum Group. Raymond was a Co-Founder and the 3rd General President of the Rhode Island Young Professionals, an auxiliary of the Urban League of Rhode Island, and is a strong supporter of the work of organizations such as Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), PrYSM, the Positive Peace Warrior Network and Year Up. Additionally, Raymond has served on the Board of Directors of such reputable organizations as Family Services of Rhode Island, was a former Vice President for the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Alumni Association, and also both Chaired the Association’s Alumni of Color Network (ACN) and sat on its Finance Committee. Raymond currently serves on the Education Advisory Committee for the Board of the RISD Art Museum in Providence, RI and is actively involved with and supports the work of the It’s On Us (IOU) Movement and Billy Taylor House Action Committee. Currently Raymond serves on the Providence Human Relations Commission and is also an active member of and serves as Treasurer for New Life Community Baptist Church located in Providence.
Raymond has been the recipient of a number of distinguished awards including the Urban League of Rhode Island’s 2007 Arthur David Wright, III, Esq. Youth Achievement Award, the Providence Police Department’s 2008 Community Partnership Award, a 2009 Citizen’s Citation from Mayor David Cicilline of Providence for outstanding service to the Providence community, and in April of 2009 was also presented a “Pillar of Civic Leadership Award” by and inducted into the University of Rhode Island Circle of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. In January of 2009 Raymond was selected by the Providence Journal as one of “Nine people to keep your eye on in 2009” for the state of Rhode Island and was also invited to give the keynote address at the City of Woonsocket’s 2009 & 2013 MLK Day Celebrations. At the January 10th, 2010 URI Men’s Basketball Game Raymond was honored as the “Alum of the Game” and in July of 2011 Raymond was awarded both an “Excellence in Service Award” by the local affiliate of the Nation of Islam and also an Official Citation from Providence City Councilman Nicholaus Narducci for his work to support the local Native American community.
Raymond currently serves as the Executive Director of the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Inc., a non-profit community development/social service agency located in the Mt. Hope section of the East Side of Providence, RI.