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News Release

March 10, 2006

Ordinary People with Extraordinary Courage Focus of Event

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—U.S. Customs Services whistleblower Cathy Harris will deliver a keynote address “Exposing the Harassment of African American Women” at the 14th Annual Kathleen Ridder Conference on March 31.

Harris’ talk, at 9 a.m. in Neilson Library Browsing Room, will kick off the conference “Ordinary People: Extraordinary Courage and Hope,” which is free and open to the public. Christine M. Shelton, Smith professor of exercise and sport studies, and Helen Lee, Smith sociology student who graduated in 2004, will reflect on Harris’ remarks.

A former senior customs inspector with the Department of Homeland Security, Harris successfully challenged the federal government on its demoralizing practices against international travelers and Department of Homeland Security employees. As a result, new policies were enacted to protect the rights of travelers, including the Reasonable Search Standards Act.

This year’s conference celebrates the career of longtime Smith faculty member Myron P. Glazer, whose teaching and research has focused on the sociology of activism, environmental protest and ethics in research and business.

Glazer, the Barbara Richmond Professor in the Social Sciences, will retire in June after 41 years as an educator. He recently received Smith’s Honored Professor Award for distinguished service to the college.

Other conference speakers include scholars and activists who have worked with Glazer. The speakers and panel discussions are:

Studying Courage: Seeking Justice

10:45 a.m., Neilson Library Browsing Room

Chaired by Marc Steinberg, associate professor of sociology at Smith, panelists include: Danielle Brian, Class of 1985, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight; Lauren Robinson, Class of 2004, development associate for the Project on Government Oversight; Boe Morgan, Class of 2004, law student, University of Vermont; Amelia Kegan, Class of 2005, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Leslie King, assistant professor of sociology at Smith.

Courageous Resisters Seek a Better World

2 p.m., Neilson Library Browsing Room

Chaired by Paula O’Loughlin, Class of 1986, associate professor of social science, University of Minnesota at Morris, panelists include: Nathan Stoltzfus, associate professor of history, Florida State University; Kristina E. Thalhammer, political science professor, St. Olaf College; Sam G. McFarland, University Professor, Western Kentucky University; Sharon T. Shepela, professor of psychology, Hillyer College.

In addition, Glazer’s son and wife, Joshua L. Glazer and Penina Migdal Glazer, will offer comments. Joshua is a senior research specialist at the University of Michigan and, Penina, a professor emeritus of Hampshire College.

The conference is sponsored by the Smith College Project on Women and Social Change and the Department of Sociology.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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