Noted Author, Commentator and Labor Economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux to Deliver Keynote Address November 5

oteliacromwelldayNORTHAMPTON, Mass.– As Smith College celebrates its 24th annual Otelia Cromwell Day on Tuesday, Nov. 5, the college will host the ideal keynote speaker for addressing issues of civil rights, racial diversity and women’s empowerment.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux, a renowned labor economist, noted author and celebrated commentator, will deliver the event’s main address with a speech titled “Ain’t I a Woman,” exploring the importance of women’s colleges in developing leaders.

The keynote event will begin at 1 p.m. in Sweeney Auditorium, Sage Hall. Related workshops, open to all, will follow the keynote (see schedule below). Otelia Cromwell Day is open to all in the Smith community; afternoon classes are canceled to facilitate attendance.

Julianne Malveaux has been described by Cornel West as “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country.” Her contributions on issues such as race, culture, gender and their economic impacts, through numerous public appearances and articles, are helping to shape 21st-century opinion nationwide.

Malveaux served as president of Bennett College from 2007 to 2012, the oldest historically black college for women. Under her leadership, the college focused on four key areas: women’s leadership, entrepreneurship, excellence in communications, and global awareness.

Smith College’s annual Otelia Cromwell Day, named for the first African-American graduate from Smith College, in 1900, reflects on issues of social justice and injustice with particular focus on diversity and racism in the United States. The theme of this year’s celebration is “The Journey from Civil Rights to Social Justice.”

The daylong event will conclude with an evening performance by Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, directed by Marilyn Sylla, a lecturer on the Smith dance faculty, featuring dances, rhythms and songs from Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil.

Otelia Cromwell, the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate at Yale University, was a professor and chair of the English Language and Literature Department at Miner Teachers College in Washington, D.C. The author of three books and many articles, Cromwell received an honorary degree from Smith in 1950.

Otelia Cromwell Day 2013

Tuesday, Nov. 5
1 p.m., Sweeney Auditorium, Sage Hall

Keynote address given by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, labor economist, writer and commentator.

“Ain’t I a Woman,” a look at ways that women’s colleges uplift and challenge their students and the benefits they offer, including the energy of a safe and exploratory space. Malveaux will also address the myths and sterotypes that shape women’s academic experiences, their lives and their world.

Malveaux’s talk will be preceded by a performance by the Smith College Glee Club, and a recitation, by Marisa Hall ‘14, of Maven, a poem commissioned by Smith in honor of Otelia Cromwell, written by award-winning poet Nikky Finney.

3 p.m. (following keynote event), various campus locations

Related workshops

“History Belongs to She Who Holds the Pen”
A talk and workshop by Julianne Malveaux, discussing the history of the women’s movement.
Earle Recital Hall, Sage Hall

“Social (In)Justice and the Supreme Court: Reflections on Three Recent Decisions” Faculty panelists Martha Ackelsberg, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Government, and Carried Baker, associate professor of the study of women and gender, will discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Fisher v. Texas, and Shelby County Alabama v. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Neilson Browsing Room

Jelupa Interactive Workshop
A theater production company from Springfield, Mass., performing vignettes about diversity, inclusion and equity with audience participation.
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall

7 p.m., Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Performance: Bamidele Dancers and Drummers

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190