Community Affairs

Brown University is committed to the success of Providence and Rhode Island. For nearly 250 years, Brown and Providence have grown and evolved together. The University has a long and rich history partnering with Providence in the areas of education, community service, culture, economic development, employment, and medical research and training. Brown strives to be a good neighbor and actively contributes to the vitality of our city and state. 

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Brown Shops LocalBrown Shops Local

For the second year in a row, the University is supporting the City of Providence's Buy Providence/Buy Art initiative with a campaign of our own: Brown Shops Local 2013. Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to visit members of the government relations & community affairs team at the Brown Shops Local table at the Brown Bookstore on Thursday, December 5  from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We’ll be giving out complimentary Brown tote bags, ticket for a 12 oz. hot or iced coffee or tea from the College Hill Café, offers from the Bookstore, and offers from these local retail hubs:

  • Hope Street
  • South Main Street
  • Wayland Square
  • Downcity

For more information about Brown Shops Local and what is happening at these vibrant retail hubs, visit

 Fei Cai '12 MD'16 and Matt Shalvoy MD'16 give a local child's teddy bear a checkup.Fei Cai '12 MD'16 and Matt Shalvoy MD'16 give a local child's teddy bear a checkup.

Teddy Bear Medicine

There are few things more comforting to a child than a teddy bear. That is why the Teddy Bear Clinic, now in its third year at Brown, aims to teach children about healthcare while removing some of the anxiety children have when it comes to visiting the doctor by involving some cuddly teddies. On Friday, November 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. during Providence Children’s Museum complimentary Metlife Family Friday, a volunteer team of Brown medical students will take about 100 local children through rotating stations that cover the basics of a checkup using teddy bears, which the kids can keep. Some of the stations will allow the children to practice the procedure on their bears with the students’ help. Family members will also receive information about nutrition, health insurance, and more. Nan Du MD‘16, who is running the Clinic this year, says, “It allows many of us to see first hand the importance of preventative medicine and education, and it forces us not to talk ‘medical speak.’” Through the activities, the students learn more about the human side of medicine while the children learn the importance of visiting the doctor while losing some of the fear they may have. Allowing the kids to bring the teddy bears home, perhaps to bring to their next medical appointment, is intended to perpetuate the level of comfort they develop at the Clinic. According to Du, "Since they had a friend with them through this Clinic, they should be able to bring that friend with them to their next doctor's visit. Hopefully it will provide them with a bit of comfort." Du and the other students are looking forward to more Clinics in 2014, including one at a local elementary school.

Volunteers paint a classroom at John Hope Settlement HouseVolunteers paint a classroom at John Hope Settlement House

The office of the community liaison serves as a hub of communication between Brown and residents, organizations, and businesses external to the University. We are available to receive questions, comments, and information, which we will direct to the most appropriate personnel at Brown. Send us an email.

Community Outreach Endeavors

Offices of Outreach

National College Advising Corps
Pre-College Programs
A Day @ College
Brown at D'Abate and Asa Messer Elementary Schools
Brown Athletes at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School
STEM Outreach

Education Outreach
Swearer Center for Public Service
Staff Advisory Council
MAT and Urban Education Fellows

Education-related Resources

About Providence

Continuing Education
Brown Science Prep
High-Performance Computing
Founders League
bRIdge Jobs
The Collaborative

Rhode Island Tourism Division
Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
Waterfire Providence
Thayer Street District Management Authority 
College Hill Neighborhood Association
Fox Point Neighborhood Association
Jewelry District Association