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Meridians Symposium Will Gather Generations of Scholars and Activists

Campus Life

Conference registration table in the Campus Center with posters for the Meridians event

Published October 6, 2016

An October 14 symposium will bring together generations of scholars and activists to discuss topics raised over the past 16 years in the groundbreaking journal Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism.

An evening keynote will feature national and international leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The symposium, titled When and Where I Enter, is designed “to celebrate legacies and envision the future.” 

President Kathleen McCartney will offer opening remarks for the daytime session, and an opening panel will feature Paula Giddings, the E.A. Woodson 1922 Professor of Africana Studies; Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, assistant professor of history; and President Emerita Ruth Simmons, who, as Smith’s president from 1995 to 2001, was instrumental in Meridians’ founding. 

The 8 p.m. keynote address on “Black Lives Matter: A Dialogue on the Movement” will feature organizer and social justice educator Janaya Khan (co-founder and international ambassador of Black Lives Matter Toronto) and Opal Tometi (co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration). Barbara Ransby, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will moderate the evening session.

Giddings says the Meridians symposium will be a bridge connecting the scholarship and activism of the 1980s and 1990s with the work that’s being done now in the Black Lives Matter movement.

As Giddings notes, “Meridians has been a forum for women of color that is more than a journal. It’s a space where we come together with our minds and our hearts to “inspire and embolden us in precarious times.”

Ticket information

Tickets are required for the 8 p.m. keynote address, “Black Lives Matter: A Dialogue on the Movement.” Tickets are free, and priority will be given to Smith College students according to the schedule below.

  • Smith students, faculty and staff: One free ticket with an ID. Priority pickup begins Thursday, Oct. 6, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Campus Center 106.
  • Five College students: Tickets available beginning Monday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Campus Center 106 at Smith College. Amherst, Hampshire and Mount Holyoke students can also pick them up in their student activities offices beginning Monday, Oct. 10.
  • General admission (and UMass students): Remaining tickets will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 13 and 14, in Campus Center 106. Any tickets remaining at the time of the event will be available at the John M. Greene box office beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14.

People without tickets are welcome to watch the event via a video feed to Stoddard Auditorium.

Participants are invited to submit a question for moderator Barbara Ransby to ask the speakers. Questions may be submitted by emailing; please include “Meridians Keynote Question” in the subject line.

About Meridians

Founded in 2000, Meridians is a feminist, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal whose goal is to provide a forum for the finest scholarship and creative work by and about women of color in U.S. and international contexts. It enjoys a national and international readership in all 50 states, Canada and 31 countries (including Iran and China). The journal is supported by Smith College and is published twice a year by Indiana University Press.