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Sept. 29, 2008

Anti-Racism Activist to Speak at Smith College

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Prominent anti-racism author and activist Tim J. Wise will speak about understanding white privilege at Smith College Monday, Oct. 20, at 4:30 p.m. in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall.

Author of “Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White” and “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son,” Wise is one of the most prominent white anti-racist voices in the United States.

Wise’s lecture is free and open to the public. During his campus visit, he will also meet with students involved in the Smith Association of Class Activists and the Unity Presidents Council.

A social justice activist for the past two decades, Wise has addressed audiences in 48 states and on more than 400 college campuses. His next book, “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Race and Whiteness in the Age of Obama,” is slated to be released in spring 2009.

This is a return visit to Smith for Wise. In 2004, Wise was the commencement speaker at the Smith College School for Social Work ceremony. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at the School for Social Work, where he co-taught a master's level class about racism in the United States.

Wise is the 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan.  He has also worked with audiences in numerous career fields on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. In 2001, Wise worked with journalists to eliminate racial bias in reporting as a visiting faculty-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. And in 2005 and 2006 he provided training on issues of racial privilege and institutional bias at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) at Patrick Air Force Base.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University, Wise received training in methods for dismantling racism from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in New Orleans.

His talk is sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and the Office of the Dean of the College.

For information about disability access or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.


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

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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