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feinstein institute global service learning program

Feinstein Institute for Public Service

Being a part of the Feinstein Institute means being a part of a community of students who are committed to fighting for justice through critical service, meaningful relationships, and honest dialogue. I see justice as a constant struggle that’s attainable through collective effort and community empowerment.

– Phoebee Jean ’19


The Feinstein Institute for Public Service was established in 1993 when Providence College was named the recipient of a grant from Rhode Island philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein to develop an innovative academic program that would educate community leaders by integrating community service with academic study.

For its first two decades, the core of the Institute’s work supported the major and minor in Public and Community Service Studies. After the establishment of an academic department of Public and Community Service Studies, the Institute began to turn its efforts to campus-community partnerships aimed at addressing the larger questions underlying our public and community service systems. Over the past two years, the Institute has worked with campus and community partners to focus its efforts around questions of racial and economic justice, particularly for youth and families, both locally and globally.


Through a process of focused conversations and deep reflection, the Feinstein Institute for Public Service works collaboratively to increase an understanding of and promote positive, sustainable social and economic change through community building.

Believing that service bears witness to religious and ethical values central to the college’s mission and is at the heart of a liberal arts education in a democratic society, the Institute embraces an ethic of servant leadership in its commitment to campus and community.

Statement of Purpose

Adopted August 2017

The Feinstein Institute is dedicated to critical reflection and action on key questions confronting our communities. Over the past two decades, the Institute has been involved in a range of programs for the purpose of:

  • Learning with our community partners about the root causes of the issues being experienced, and
  • Supporting individual and collective action intended to improve social conditions.

Stepping back from our work and reflecting upon it in the current context, we recognize growing threats to the communities with which we partner. Based on this understanding, we find that the Feinstein Institute must confront three questions in our work going forward:

  • How can we contribute to the dismantling of racial injustice and inequity, the persistence of which continues to be a major obstacle to community well-being?
  • What opportunities exist for the Feinstein Institute to combat poverty and economic inequality, locally as well as globally?
  • How can we work with others in the community to enhance the capacity of young people to reach their highest aspirations, for themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods?