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In recent years, the presence of the word plantation in the state's name became a sufficiently contested issue that the General Assembly voted on June 25, 2009 to hold a general referendum determining whether "and Providence Plantations" would be dropped from the official name.Advocates for excising plantation asserted that the word symbolized an alleged legacy of native disenfranchisement for many Rhode Islanders, as well as the proliferation of slavery in the colonies and in the post-colonial United States.(Rhode Island abolished slavery in 1652, but the law was not enforced and, by the early 18th century, it was "the epicenter of the North American slave trade", according to the Brown Daily Herald.) Advocates for retaining the name argued that plantation was simply an archaic synonym for colony and bore no relation to slavery.On October 9, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we commemorated this milestone with special guest Lisa Leslie, WNBA legend, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and supporter of the national NO MORE campaign against domestic violence.We thank everyone who has played a part in helping us move our work forward.