The members of the Newport Middle Passage Port Marker Project (NMPPMP) are eager to hear your views and to have your input into the design, scope, and development of a memorial park at Liberty Square.

“The Newport Middle Passage Port Marker Project is dedicated to shining a light on the history of Newport, Rhode Island, epicenter of the New England Slave Trade,” according to Newport Middle Passage Port Marker Project. “By telling the stories of the enslaved and honoring their lives with a memorial public space, we hope to ensure that the cultural narrative of our city is complete. We wish to honor and celebrate the lives and contributions of people of African descent in Newport and the nation, and to create a park emphasizing traditional American values of liberty, justice, and equality”.

NMPPMP engaged Julian Bonder + Associates, the architect for the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery, in Nantes, France, to design a memorial at Liberty Square.

“Our efforts will include organizing Zoom discussions, social media notifications, direct mail, and e-mail. NMPPMP believes that your participation is vital to the success of this project that UNESCO has designated as a “Site of Memory.” We are convinced that the input and ideas of local citizens are critical, and we solicit your active participation,” NMPPMP writes about their efforts.

Join NMPPMP at one of the following zoom sessions

October 8, 2020

October 15, 2020

Reservations may be made for either of the two events online. Please copy and paste to:

and register for one of the two Design Sessions through NMPPMP Facebook page. Go to Events.

or go directly to registration at one of these below:

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.