Lani Guinier to Deliver Otelia Cromwell Day Keynote
As the nation heads to the polls
on Tuesday, November 2, in what is expected to be an unusually
high rate of voter participation, Smith College’s annual
Otelia Cromwell Day will examine civic engagement and involvement
in the processes of democracy, with particular focus on the
concept of inclusion.
“Politics, Participation, Power: The Challenges and
Possibilities of Democracy and Diversity” is the title
of this year’s semester-long series of events, which
centers around a keynote talk by Lani Guinier, an African
American professor of law at Harvard Law School and a renowned
authority on contemporary politics.
Guinier, the first black woman tenured professor in Harvard
Law School's history, will speak on "Race, Exclusion
and Political Elections."
Also as part of the series, on Saturday, October 30, renowned
African-American vocalist Kevin Maynor, an operatic bass,
will headline a concert with the premieres of works by composers
Jack Beeson, of Columbia University, and Pulitzer Prize-winner
George Walker, a former Smith faculty member, at 8 p.m. in
And on Saturday, November 6,
The theatre department will present a play reading of Archangels
of Funk, a new musical work by Andrea Hairston, professor
of theatre, that was a finalist for the 2003 Heideman Award,
at 8 p.m. in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Mendenhall CPA.
Otelia Cromwell Day is an annual event named for the first
known African-American to graduate from Smith. Cromwell, who
graduated in 1900, eventually became a professor and chair
of the English Language and Literature Department at Miner
Teachers College in Washington, D.C. The author of three books
and many articles, Cromwell received an honorary degree from
Smith in 1950.
A day was established in Cromwell’s honor to provide
the college community with an opportunity for further education
and reflection about issues of diversity and racism.
This year’s series began on September 18 with a lecture
on gender and politics by Carol Moseley-Braun, the popular
former U.S. senator and a Democratic presidential candidate.
On October 13, Paul Frymer, author of “Uneasy Alliances:
Race and Party Competition in America,” delivered a
lecture on race and the 2004 election.
For more information, consult www.smith.edu/otelia.