and Election Days 2004
As the political atmosphere heats to a
boiling point this fall and Smith community members prepare to cast
their votes on November 2, the college will host a series of events
that promote civic engagement as part of this year's Otelia Cromwell
The events, reflecting this year's theme "Politics, Participation,
Power: The Challenges and Possibilities of Democracy and Diversity," will
examine involvement in the processes of democracy, particularly the inclusion
of all demographic groups.
"Paralleling the fall elections, our events will highlight issues that
address the possibilities and challenges that diversity presents to democracy," explains
Kevin Quashie, assistant professor of Afro-American studies and a member of the
Otelia Cromwell Day planning committee. "The forthcoming election offers
us an opportunity to go a step beyond the discussions of party platforms and
agendas toward examing the issues around democracy and participation."
The Otelia Cromwell Day celebration began on September 18 with a lecture on gender
and politics by Carol Moseley-Braun, a popular former U.S. senator who sought
the Democratic presidential nomination this year.
On October 13, Paul Frymer, author of Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition
in America, delivers a lecture on race and electoral politics, discussing whiteness
as it relates to political participation and inclusion.
On Election Day, November 2, the Otelia Cromwell Day committee plans to sponsor
election-related events as results are assessed.
Other events this fall in connection with Otelia Cromwell Day include a campus
visit by writer Pearl Cleage; a recital by Kevin Maynor, a nationally renowned
operatic bass vocalist; and "Politics and Protest," at the Museum
of Art, an exhibition of some 30 photographs, prints and drawings from different
countries and time periods.
Otelia Cromwell Day is 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.
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