The Battle of Rhode Island Association announces the addition of Dereke Mays and Nick Hardisty
as Directors to the Board. Dereke Mays will be representing the Newport NAACP. Nick Hardisty
comes on board representing Tall Ships America. Also retired Navy Capt. Dr. Murray Norcross
has joined the Board as an Advisor on Grants.
Dereke and the Newport Chapter of the NAACP have been the leaders in commemorating the
lives and memories of the First Black Regiment. As has been practiced for many years, they
celebrated the 55th Commemoration of the Monument at Patriots Park in Portsmouth this past
Founded in 1973, Tall Ships America is a non-profit organization commended by Congress as
The National Sail Training Organization representing the United States. Based in Newport, Nick
will be very active in scheduling tall ship visits to all U.S. coasts in 2026.
Dr. Murray Norcross is a native of Adams, Massachusetts his ancestors settled in Boston in 1630,
and he’s a member of The Sons of the American Revolution.
We’ve also added new partners bringing our total to 32. Our partners are vital in getting the word
out about our organization and RI’s role in the Revolutionary War and providing content to the
website. We welcome Tall Ships America, NAACP-Newport, Rhode Tour, Pawtuxet Rangers, and
the Charlestown Land Trust as partners. Our partner page is located on our website
www.battleofrhodeisland.org and it shares a brief introduction and a link to their respective
The Battle of Rhode Island Association is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to raising
awareness of Rhode Island’s role in the War for Independence. Donations may be made
payable to “BoRIA” at PO Box 626, Portsmouth, RI 02871.