The Red Bandana Fund

“I like life to be a hodge-podge of people of all sorts, all ages, all cultures, all colors, all everything. Life can be terribly sad, life can anger you but life is, well, life, and it is to be lived.” – RICHARD WALTON

stacks-image-1f8f74f-266x358The Red Bandana Fund will be a legacy to help sustain Rhode Island’s community of individuals and organizations that embody the lifelong peace and justice ideals of activist Richard J. Walton.

Through the Red Bandana Fund, an annual financial award will be made to an organization or individual whose work best represents the ideals of peace and social justice that exemplify Richard’s life work. He was a dedicated advocate of worker rights and committed to the nurturing of young people as a college professor. He gave hundreds of hours of service every month to organizations including Amos House, the George Wiley Center, Providence Niquinhomo Sister City Project, the Green Party, and Stone Soup Folk Arts Foundation. These organizations, as well as the city of Pawtucket, along with a committee of his close friends led by Bill Harley and Stone Soup Folk Arts Foundation are working with Richard’s family to help establish the Fund.

Your donations continue to support the Red Bandana Fund and help “… honor Richard Walton and others like him who work to improve the human condition.”
You can use the donation button below or send checks made out to “Stone Soup Folk Arts Foundation/Red Bandana Fund” and mailed to Red Bandana Fund, PO Box 41057, Providence, RI, 02904.

Thank you to those who have already donated.

The 2016 Red Bandana Fund Awards

Artemis Moonhawk, also known as Mama Dreads,founded and runs Mama Dreads Mission of Love, a grassroots operation to help the homeless. The award was given “for her tireless compassion, aid to and advocacy for the health and welfare of the homeless in Rhode Island. Through her work with Mama Dreads Mission of Love, she reminds us that our humanity is measured by our care for the least, which she exhibits gladly, joyfully and continually on the streets of our communities. We are all better for her presence in our midst.”

Sarath Suong is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM).The award was given “for his steadfast and continued work with our Southeast Asian communities and the youth of Providence. Sarath’s dedicated vocation reminds us that the immigrant’s story is the story of our country and our community, that all people deserve a place at the table, and that speaking truth to power is possible every day.”

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The 2015 Red Bandana Fund Award was presented to Prof. Eric Hirsch of the RI Coalition for the Homeless and to.the workers of the Renaissance Hotel. Prof. Hirsch was honored “for his life-long commitment to bettering the lives of the poor and homeless in Rhode Island. Eric’s life and work is a reminder to all of us of the importance of both thought and action.” The workers of the Renaissance Hotel, many of them first generation immigrants, were honored “for their courage and persistence in demanding their right to a union and fair and equitable treatment and pay for their work.”

The 2014 Red Bandana Fund Award was presented to Harry Shelton and the Providence Student Union (PSU).Shelton, a longtime director of the George Wiley Center and a friend of Richard Walton’s, is known throughout the region for his steadfast commitment to bettering the lives of all Rhode Islanders, especially the poor and disadvantaged. The PSU has been addressing important issues of education in creative and powerful ways.

The 2013 Red Bandana Fund Award was presented to Amos House in Providence which makes a difference in the lives of others by providing basic needs, education and businesses such as the Friendship Cafe, More than a Meal Catering, and Bristol Harbor Homemade Baking Mixes.

About Richard Walton
Richard was a father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He was a social and political activist, working against homelessness, poverty, and injustice. In addition to his affiliation with Stone Soup, Richard had a deep personal involvement with Amos House in Providence. For many years Richard was an adjunct instructor in the Department of English at Rhode Island College and was the founding president of its Adjunct Faculty Union.

Richard was the heart and soul of Stone Soup Coffeehouse, serving as President of the Board for most of the 32 years of Stone Soup’s existence. For many people he was also the face of Stone Soup as its long-term master of ceremonies. Richard was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2016 for his dedicated involvement and commitment to the acoustic music community in Rhode Island.