The Office of Multicultural Affairs is committed to shaping a strong community among students of color while promoting an understanding of cultural diversity for the Smith community as a whole. The director coordinates activities that encourage exploration of one’s identity, culture and heritage and an understanding of those of others. The office emphasizes the interests and needs of those who identify as students of color, beginning with the first-year pre-orientation program. The multicultural affairs office serves as a source of guidance and advocacy for students of color as they navigate their Smith experience.
About the Staff
L’Tanya Richmond, M.A. | she/her
Dean of Multicultural Affairs
Dean Richmond is responsible for the strategic leadership, vision and management of multicultural affairs. Overseeing the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, Bridge Program, Emergency Fund for Students of Color, The Mwangi Fund, the Mwangi Cultural Center and Unity House, the associate director, administrative assistant and related resources, and student-directed services, Dean Richmond is devoted to programs and policies that maximize student opportunities for personal development and academic excellence.Contact Dean Richmond
Mondays and Fridays, 2–3 p.m. EST. For students who wish to schedule appointments during virtual open office hours, please use the online scheduler for Dean Richmond. For other times, please send an email to email@example.com.
Sahar Mahmood, M.A. | she/her
Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs
Sahar Mahmood leads initiatives focused on student development and implements programs and services that support the work of all recognized cultural heritage organizations. Sahar is devoted to supporting students of color in any capacity.
For questions regarding Mwangi Cultural Center, Unity House, and Unity Presidents’ Council, please contact Sahar Mahmood.
Contact Sahar Mahmood
Phone: (413) 585-4978.
Open Office Hours
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1–3 p.m. EST. For students who wish to schedule an appointment for another time, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters to the Community
A Message to Prospective Students
You've probably noticed that many colleges are talking about multiculturalism. We want you to know that Smith College, a recognized leader in liberal arts education for women, has done more than "talk" about multiculturalism. Smith has made a strong commitment to cultural diversity within its community.
Bright young women from around the United States and 50 other countries representing almost every racial, ethnic, political, social, economic, religious and cultural background come to Smith. They contribute their voices and life experiences to the richness of the campus community.
If you want an excellent liberal arts education on a campus that truly values diversity, consider Smith.
A Message to New Students
Congratulations on your acceptance to Smith College. Few things in your life will have such a marked influence as your college experience, and Smith is an outstanding institution at which to complete your education.
At Smith, we will challenge you to stretch beyond your present capacities and become an active partner in your education. You will be encouraged to question, think, write, plan, discuss and present. You will also be given opportunities to develop your leadership potential, to explore the world beyond the classroom and the campus through study abroad, and to prepare for your career and your future responsibilities through internships and service. Your personal and academic growth are at the center of this institution.
Committed to maintaining a diverse community in an atmosphere of mutual respect, Smith provides an opportunity for women to live and study among other races and cultures. To be successful in a diverse environment, students can expect support from several administrative and academic departments, including the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), where our mission is to provide a critical support structure that will enrich the overall experience of students of color at Smith. The key to your success is to take advantage of all that Smith has to offer. Given the variety of activities on campus, you are certain to find one or more that you will enjoy. I challenge you to get involved from the start to ensure that your academic year begins on a positive note.
Your undergraduate experience at Smith College can be just the beginning of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding time of your life. To learn more, contact me at 413-585-4940 any time you have questions.
Dean of Multicultural Affairs
Dear Smithie Families,
I am delighted that your daughter will be attending Smith College. In acknowledgement of the ongoing guidance you will be offering her, I am happy to acquaint you with some of the numerous academic and cultural programs available at Smith.
Smith College, a recognized leader in liberal arts education for women, is a vibrant community populated with intriguing people from a variety of cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Smith has made an ongoing commitment to cultural diversity, offering students innumerable opportunities to meet a new community of scholars and friends. At Smith, your daughter will encounter new people with whom to share ideas in many ways.
Smith is truly a wonderful place. Yet, as on most predominantly white campuses, students from diverse backgrounds face challenges. The college is steadfast in its efforts to maintain a community that embraces diversity. It continually sponsors educational and social events with this goal in mind. Beginning with its orientation programs, notably the Bridge program, students of color are afforded numerous opportunities to become an integral part of the Smith community. Once enrolled at Smith, most students of color find a niche in both Unity House and Mwangi Cultural Center, which serve as forums for discussing ideas about diversity and multiculturalism. They are also the venues for many multicultural events throughout the year, ranging from "A Celebration of Unity" to Big Sibling/Little Sibling teas.
By choosing Smith, your daughter will receive an excellent liberal arts education on a campus that values academic excellence and diversity. As such, the Office of Multicultural Affairs offers a holistic support to students of color: monitoring their progress, advising student organizations, promoting positive community relations and representing their concerns. I look forward to meeting and getting to know your daughter, and I invite you to contact me if I can be of assistance. Your comments and feedback are welcome.
Dean of Multicultural Affairs
Estoy encantada de que su hija esté asistiendo a Smith College. En reconocimiento de la orientación continua que usted le ofrece, me complace poder familiarizarlos con algunos de los numerosos programas académicos y culturales disponibles en Smith.
Smith College, un líder reconocido en la educación de artes liberales para mujeres, es una comunidad vibrante poblada con personas intrigantes de una variedad de culturas y de entornos socioeconómicos. Smith ha hecho un compromiso continuo con la diversidad cultural, ofreciendo a los estudiantes innumerables oportunidades para conocer a una nueva comunidad de académicos y amigos. En Smith, su hija encontrará nuevas personas con quienes compartir ideas y conectarse en muchos niveles.
Smith es realmente un lugar maravilloso. Sin embargo, como en muchas escuelas con una mayoría de estudiantes anglosajones, los estudiantes con diversos antecedentes enfrentan desafíos. La universidad es firme en sus esfuerzos por mantener una comunidad que acepta la diversidad. Continuamente, Smith patrocina eventos educativos y sociales con este objetivo en mente. Comenzando con sus programas de orientación, notablemente el programa Bridge, los estudiantes de color tienen numerosas oportunidades para convertirse en una parte integral de la comunidad en Smith. Una vez inscritos en Smith, la mayoría de los estudiantes de color encuentran un lugar de confort en Unity House y el Centro Cultural Mwangi, lugares donde se discuten ideas sobre diversidad y multiculturalismo. También son sede de muchos eventos multiculturales durante todo el año, que van desde "Una celebración de la unidad" hasta celebraciones de la tradición de Hermana Menor/Hermana Mayor.
Al elegir a Smith, su hija recibirá una excelente educación en artes liberales en un campus que valora la excelencia académica y la diversidad. Como tal, la Oficina de Asuntos Multiculturales (Office of Multicultural Affairs) ofrece un apoyo holístico a los estudiantes de color; monitoreando su progreso, asesorando a las organizaciones estudiantiles, promoviendo relaciones comunitarias positivas y representando las preocupaciones de los estudiantes de color. Espero conocer a su hija, y los invito a contactarme si puedo ser de ayuda. Sus comentarios son bienvenidos.
Dean of Multicultural Affairs
In this time of urgent racial crisis, we emerge from ongoing planning into powerful action.
With recommendations from our Toward Racial Justice at Smith plan, Smith College continues its commitment to transparency, to inclusivity and to racial justice at Smith. Informed by student, staff and faculty voices to Inclusion in Action work, as well as student and alumnae/i demands, discussions with the Inclusion Council and Presidents’ Cabinet, the college commits to action.