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Inclusion in Action

Marianne Yoshioka speaking at a podium
Marianne Yoshioka, dean of the Smith College School for Social Work, welcomed attendees to the opening plenary session.

“Inclusion in Action: Listening and Organizing Across Difference,” held April 10, 2019, was created by and for Smith College. It was a day of engaged learning, connection and action; a convergence of knowledge and experience for the purpose of creating transformative change in our community. In addition to the programmatic offerings, feedback gathered during the day will directly inform our long-range inclusion and equity planning.

The majority of programs—more than 60—were offered by Smith's own students, staff, faculty and alums. Special guests included Anthony Jack, author of The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, and David Karp of the Project on Restorative Justice at Skidmore College. Closing our day of learning was queer Chicana performer Monica Palacios presenting “Browner Queerer Louder Prouder.” Dynamic sessions focused on helping our community face challenges together, recognize strengths, build connections, work in accountable solidarity, repair harm, dream big and take action.

Programming included multi-format workshops, affinity group and intergroup dialogues, interactive panel presentations and roundtable discussions, performances, creative activities, skill-shares, reflection and healing spaces, and feedback sessions.

Inclusion in Action: Next Steps

September 9, 2019

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

Like many of you, I attended the April 10, 2019, Day of Learning with a mixture of hope and uncertainty. Would “Inclusion in Action” live for only one day, or would it be a lasting guide for Smith’s actions going forward? At the time, I did not know that I would be appointed Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. Since July 1, part of my job has been to lead a working group dedicated to following up on the Day of Learning with one simple goal: help Smith do better. We read your responses to the “Your Voice Matters” survey data as well as concerns that students raised on April 11. This report distills what we heard and explains our plans for how to proceed. 

We heard your aspirations, your critiques, and your unique experiences of living in the Smith community. For instance, you rightfully call for Smith to close the gap between the promise of acceptance and the lived realities of many at this college. You ask us, “How can we both address structural problems and improve opportunities for individual learning?” It’s our responsibility to answer your questions and lead meaningful change.

To that end, we will host open forums from 8 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, in Graham Hall and from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, September 20, in Campus Center 103/104 to gather your feedback about our report. We are sure that it is improvable. I invite you to submit feedback via the anonymous Google form located at the report website. The form will also enable you to express your interest in participating in next steps.

Additionally, I’d like to invite you to meet with me informally at one of the following events:

  • Students, please join me today at 12:15 p.m. for a pizza party on Chapin Lawn.
  • Faculty, I’ll see you on Wednesday, September 25, at the reception for Provost Michael Thurston and me following the faculty meeting.
  • Staff, please drop by for hors d'oeuvres from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, at the Alumnae House Living Room. 

Choosing what D-L Stewart called “critical hope” at last year’s Otelia Cromwell Day, I remain

Yours truly,

Floyd Cheung
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

Program Steering Committee

  • Kate Aloisio
  • Floyd Cheung
  • Krystle Ellis
  • Gary Felder
  • Marissa Hoechstetter
  • Storm Lewis ’21
  • Minh Ly
  • Kristina Mereigh
  • Albert Mosley
  • Joanna Olin
  • Dana Olivo
  • Claudia Olson ’22
  • Luz Orozco Ortiz AC
  • Monica Palacios
  • Laura Rauscher
  • L’Tanya Richmond
  • Janet Spongberg
  • Stacey Steinbach
  • Caitlin Szymkowicz
  • Johanna Walter
  • Camille Washington-Ottombre
  • Marianne Yoshioka
  • Connie Zhang ’19

Coordination Team

  • Leslie Abraham ’19J
  • Bee Buehring
  • Annie DelBusto Cohen
  • Raven Fowlkes-Witten ’17
  • Amy Hunter
  • Queen Lanier