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Otelia Cromwell Day Schedule

Blackapella choral group performing at Otelia Cromwell Day 2016


Otelia Cromwell Day, Thursday, November 1

All Otelia Cromwell Day events are free, open to the public and wheelchair-accessible. Attendees who need disability accommodations or sign language interpretation should call 413-585-2071 (voice or TTY), or send email to

Special appreciation for funding from the Mary H. Collett 1925 Symposium Fund. 

Ceremony and Keynote Address

1–2:30 p.m., John M. Greene Hall

Marianne Yoshioka, Chair, Otelia Cromwell Day Planning Committee; Dean of the School for Social Work and Elizabeth Martin Treuhaft Professor

Musical Selection: “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Blackappella, the Black Campus Ministries Praise Group; Ava Dujon ’21, musical director

Poetry Reading
“Maven” by Nikky Finney, read by Cai Sherley ’19

The Life and Legacy of Otelia Cromwell, Ph.D.
Professor Andrea Hairston

Remarks and Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Kathleen McCartney, President

Keynote Address
D-L Stewart, Ph.D.: “(Re)Living Hope”

Musical Selection: “Feeling Good”

Contemplative Reflection Open Space

2:45–5:30 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Light refreshments will be available.

Afternoon Workshops: 2:45–4 p.m.

Mapping a Campus Mandate for Institutional Equity and Justice
Too often the charge to address and remediate campus inequity and injustice falls to task forces or steering committees focused on issues of compositional diversity and campus climate. However, to truly realize institutional transformation toward greater equity and justice requires an effort by  the entire campus to stretch beyond community climate issues and look at what is happening in the classroom, in research and enterprise projects and in the university’s relationship with the local community. In this workshop, participants will engage in a community-mapping exercise to identify resources and opportunities to support campus work to further equity and justice. Presenter: D-L Stewart, professor and co-chair of Student Affairs in Higher Education at the School of Education at Colorado State University and the Otelia Cromwell Day keynote presenter.
Stoddard Hall Auditorium

TRAIN! Up: Theatre methods for co-creating collective toolkits for social justice
What do you think staff, students and faculty should know when it comes to identity, diversity, your culture or other social justice issues? Join TRAIN! (Theatre Rendering Accomplices Instigating Nexus) in exploring strategies for building a more equitable Smith. Participants will engage in interactive activities and lively discussion, with the opportunity to continue collaborating with TRAIN! throughout the year. Theatre experience is not required. Presenters: Mariana Estrella Rivera ’16 and Trenda Loftin ’09
Seelye 110

Responding to Social Disasters: Supporting Those Targeted by Their Social Identity
Social disasters are politically and socially precipitated catastrophes, when people are targeted for their social identity and suffer oppression and persecution—either from the state or through institutionalized social practices like racism. This workshop will describe the unique characteristics of social disasters; consider obstacles to recovery; and explore strategies that help people heal, feel empowered, and engage in mutual aid and social support. Presenter: Joshua Miller, M.S.W., Ph.D., Professor, School for Social Work.
Seelye 101

Calling In? Calling Out? Calling All of Us: Compassionate Communication for Activists
Have you ever messed up and hurt or offended someone? Has someone ever offended you? What did you do? What do you wish you’d done? Explore how to learn from missteps and use them to connect with others. We can grow compassion and hold ourselves and others accountable. This workshop will incorporate writing, group discussions and movement. All people, experiences and feelings welcome. Presenter: Toby Davis '03, M.S., School for Social Work.
Campus Center 103/104

White Privilege and White Fragility: Examining Dominant Power Structures at Smith
This workshop will introduce concepts and skills to address racism in the classroom and on campus. By exploring the tenets of white supremacy culture and how these might be revealed at Smith, participants will identify the next steps in personal commitments to unlearning racism. Presenters: School for Social Work class of 2019 students Cayla Tepper, Lea Calderon-Guthe, Beth Lowry and Becky Scott are leaders of the SSW Unlearning Racism Group.
Seelye 206

Afternoon Workshops: Other Times (See listings for details)

Healing Through Action: A Collaborative Planning Process with the Weaving Voices Archives Project
In August a group of students, faculty, staff and administrators came together to identify ways to make our community more inclusive, equitable, safe and accessible. This workshop will open with a presentation from the Weaving Voices Archives Project providing a historical perspective of racial (in)justice at Smith College. Workshop participants will build on the foundation of the August gathering to advance our discussion and keep moving forward as a college community. All are welcome! Presenters: Sarah Arnold ’19; Kristina Mereigh, director of wellness programming; Robert Simmons, lower Elm Street area coordinator; and others.
4:10–5:30 p.m., Seelye 106

Poetry as Resistance & Healing
What is the work of words? How can poetry be used to disentangle us from systems of oppression? How can it move us closer to liberation? How can it repair places in us that are in need of healing? After a guided conversation centered on these questions, participants will apply these ideas in writing their own pieces or exploring materials brought by the trainer. They will then discuss what they created or discovered. No experience is necessary. Presenter: Erin Joy Seibert ’08, M.S.W., School for Social Work.
4:10–5:30 p.m., Campus Center 103/104

Interactive Drumming with Dancing
Participants will have the opportunity to learn some basics of African rhythm and movement.  This workshop is open to beginners and all levels. Come make music—and dance if you want. Workshops are 40 minutes in length. Please sign up for either or both the 4:10–4:50 p.m. or 5–5:40 p.m. sessions. Presenters: Marilyn M. Sylla, Five College dance lecturer; Sekou Sylla, Bamidele Dancers and Drummers; Sharon Arslanian, Pioneer Valley Arabic Music Ensemble.
4:10–5:40 p.m., John M. Greene Hall

Healing and Resistance Dynamics Through Art
This workshop explores the power of art as an imaginative vehicle for both healing and social justice for communities. Through guided art instruction, students, faculty and staff will restore their spirits and energy by painting an image in a group setting and attempting to capture their own individuality and creative dynamic. The workshop helps participants contemplate and explore challenging subjects related to diversity, racism and equity in a visual format that is relaxed and less threatening. No experience necessary. Registration required; Maximum 60 enrollees. Presenter: Christopher Fabor Muhammad, founder/CEO of Creative Force, Inc.; executive director of Arts Reforming Communities; and adjunct professor at William Paterson University.
4:10–6:10 p.m., Davis Ballroom