June 2, 2014
Author and activist Gloria Steinem ’56 addressed a full house in Weinstein Auditorium on the topic of archives, memory and strategies for policy reform and personal development. She advised the delegates, “We know that we are together in this worldview that says human beings are linked; we are not ranked.” In her discussion of the importance of storytelling, Steinem emphasized that conversations need to be recorded, shared and amplified—that documenting our stories is part of history and honors the ways in which we learn from each other across boundaries.
Steinem’s remarks were followed by a panel that included Darcy Buerkle, associate professor of history at Smith; Sara Gould, Smith College activist-in-residence; Thi Huyen Linh Nguyen, WPSP delegate and government official of the State Records and Archives Department of Vietnam; and Mariya Salim, WPSP delegate and a program coordinator at ActionAid in India.
Salim noted that women in India constitute one of the most disadvantaged groups of the population, and it is their courage, determination and vision that helps inspire her activism and storytelling. Said Nguyen, “We realize that history should be considered and written from different perspectives. We need to give people a chance to speak out—that is the best way to get the full story.”
Photos by Ben Barnhart