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Tomorrow is Cromwell Day

Equity and Inclusion

Published November 9, 2020

Dear students, staff and faculty,

Tomorrow is Cromwell Day, and this year the theme is “Tackling Anti-Blackness: Moving Past the Abstract.” As you may know, all classes are cancelled so that we can dedicate ourselves to social justice. This day honors Otelia Cromwell, class of 1900, Smith’s first Black graduate, and Adelaide Cromwell ’40, Smith’s first Black faculty member. Both are emblematic of the academic excellence that Black students and colleagues have exemplified throughout the history of the college.

Tomorrow’s Cromwell celebration begins at 1:30 p.m. Our keynote speaker, Yamiche Alcindor, the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, will deliver an address titled “The 2020 Election in Black and White.” Please register for the keynote address using this link. I look forward to hearing her timely remarks.

Cromwell Day features morning and afternoon workshops on race, diversity and inclusion. The day will be capped by an Arts Showcase by students, staff and faculty. Note that the full schedule and registration links are available on the Cromwell Day website.

We have accelerated our equity and inclusion efforts via a strategic plan, led by Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Floyd Cheung and the equity and inclusion team—comprising the Office for Equity and Inclusion, the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The preliminary outline was released in July and received feedback from hundreds of students, staff, faculty and alums. An update is now available on the Toward Racial Justice website, which summarizes feedback trends, describes initiative areas and shares the first round of action items for change.

I wish to thank the tireless efforts of the Cromwell Day Committee:

  • Kim Alston, Program and Communications Manager, Religious and Spiritual Life
  • Joanne Benkley, Assistant Director of CEEDS
  • Nikki Chambers, Associate Director of Admission
  • Floyd Cheung, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion 
  • Monica Dean, Director of the Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center 
  • Julie Destine ’21 
  • Andrea Fernandes, Associate Director of Events Management 
  • Raven Fowlkes-Witten, Program and Outreach Coordinator, Office for Equity and Inclusion 
  • Whitley Hadley, Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs
  • Bona Kang, Lecturer, Education and Child Study
  • Queen Lanier, Assistant to the VP for Equity and Inclusion
  • Mehammed Mack, Associate Professor of French Studies
  • Sam Masinter, Interim Vice President for Public Affairs
  • Davis Rivera, Electrician 
  • Alaine Williams ’23

Thank you for your engagement in this work together to make Smith a more equitable and inclusive institution. I look forward to continuing the journey with you tomorrow at Cromwell Day.

Kathleen McCartney