If you attended community meetings in the West End in the early 1980’s, you’ll remember hearing the deep voice of Joe Cardoza- a man who would take the time to listen to what was really going on and always ask the right question, the one that no one wanted to ask but the one that would get the answers that were needed.
Joe Cardoza lived in Providence most of his life. He was a longshoreman for 15 years. Joe was an elder statesman for the West End Community Center, and was affectionately known as “The Mayor of the West End.” Cardoza was the Founder, past president, and chairman of the board of the West End Community Center.
Joe Cardoza passed away in 1986 but West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation continued to honor his legacy through the creation of the Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero Award in 1990. From 1990 until 2005, this award recognized West End residents who mirrored Joe Cardoza’s unwavering commitment to community. The award would honor a member of the community for doing things that others would not do, could not do or did not find time to do to make the West End a better neighborhood, as Joe Cardoza did for many years.
Recognizing that West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation wouldn’t be the comprehensive agency it is today without the support of residents, we are bringing back the Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero Award as part of our 50th anniversary celebration. This time, the nominees for this award will be determined by the members of the community, by you. We encourage you to think about who has been a constant advocate for the West End, who exemplifies the legacy of Joe Cardoza.