She had hinted at the decision on social media.
“My last event as a RISD school board trustee,” she posted, with photos of her attending the Hamilton Park Schoolwide Reunion Aug. 10. “I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve made with many incredible people in this community. If you don’t know the history of Hamilton Park, take time to learn about it.”
After RISD settled a Voting Rights lawsuit with former trustee David Tyson in January and adopted a 5-2 system of single member districts, Patterson informed the board that she would not run again when her term expired this year. Her at-large place became the district’s first “opportunity zone,” likely to elect a minority trustee.
“I hope this provides our community the opportunity to elect a candidate who reflects the fantastic diversity of our community,” said Patterson in a written announcement. “Equity, diversity and inclusion are all immensely important to me.”
Patterson’s seat will remain vacant until voters in the new District 4 elect a trustee in November. Four African-American women have filed to run in District 4, which contains Hamilton Park: Regina Harris, Patricia Price Hicks, Taler Jefferson and Sakennia Reed. The deadline to file is Aug. 19. You may view the district’s voting map here.
“The time I’ve spent in this role has allowed me to gain a greater awareness of the many facets of public education, develop lasting friendships and, most importantly, be part of a transformational change that will continue to have a positive, lasting impact on tens of thousands of RISD students,” said Patterson. “I look forward to proudly watching as our Board continues to work towards making RISD a place where all are able to connect, learn, grow and succeed.”