A lifelong Providence resident, Joe, and his brothers grew up in Roger Williams public housing. After graduating from Providence Public School, Joe worked for the City of Providence and began a long career in community organizing for social justice.
He is a founder and board member of the nonprofit, OpenDoors, (formerly the Family Life Center), Board member of Roger Williams Daycare Center, founded by his mother, Charlotte Woods. In addition to his community-driven initiatives, Joe is a longstanding Board member of Peoples Redevelopment Corporation (PRC), a Southside affordable housing non-profit.
Joe is a member of many grassroots civic and annual projects (Rosa Parks Day, MET School community picnics, Roger Williams PHA Reunion, and a past member of the City Democratic Committee, Ward 11.
In recognition of his community and anti-racism work in BIPOC and working poor communities in 2017. Joe was inducted into the MLK Hall of Fame for community champions.
He was Vice President, President, and Executive Director of the former People Acting through Community Effort (PACE), a founding member of the Family Housing Development Corporation (FHDC), and Board Chair of the Roger Williams Tenant Association.
Joe is the founder and Board President of the RI Black Political Action Committee and the RI Fund for Black Political Progress.
Joe Buchanan and his family have been fighting for social and economic change for generations, advocating on behalf of tenant rights, improvements in public housing, support for people who are homeless, public education reforms, access to civic education, low-cost housing, and organizing formerly incarcerated people.
Joe is a proud father of five, a grandfather of fifteen, and enjoys his many great-grandchildren.