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August 4, 2004

Noted Anti-Racism Activist to Speak at Smith College School for Social Work Graduation

132 to Receive Degrees at Aug. 20 Public Ceremony

Editor’s note: Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the Smith College School for Social Work’s 84th graduation, which will take place at 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 20, in the Indoor Track and Tennis facility. To arrange interviews with students or with Social Work Dean Carolyn Jacobs, contact Marti Hobbes, (413) 585-2190,

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- As they set out to serve diverse populations in schools, clinics, hospitals, prisons, and child and family welfare agencies, the 132 students slated to receive master’s and doctoral degrees from the Smith College School for Social Work will hear words of inspiration and challenge from anti-racism activist Tim Wise.

Wise,  director of the newly formed Association for White anti-Racist Education (AWARE) in Nashville, Tenn., will give the commencement address at the school’s 84th graduation ceremony, which will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 20, in the Indoor Track & Tennis facility.

The ceremony is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Wise is one of the most prominent white anti-racist voices in the United States. A social justice activist for the past two decades, he has spoken to more than 75,000 people in 46 states, on more than 275 college campuses, and to hundreds of community groups. He has trained labor, government, corporate, and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions, and has served as a consultant for plaintiffs’ attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State. Wise has also trained journalists in how to eliminate racial bias in reporting as a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Wise has served as senior adviser to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, in Nashville, and in the early ‘90s, was associate director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, the group credited by many with the political defeat of former Ku Klux Klan leader and ex-Louisiana State Representative David Duke. He is the recipient of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition’s Social Justice Impact Award, in recognition of his contribution to the struggle for equality.

The Smith College School for Social Work, founded in 1918, enrolls some 325 men and women pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in social work with a concentration in clinical practice. The school is one of the oldest and most distinguished schools for clinical social work in the United States.

Established in response to the trauma facing shell-shocked veterans of World War I, the school has continued to lead the field in developing innovative educational and fieldwork responses to trauma, war, dislocation, violence, poverty and abuse.

Students in the MSW program alternate three summers of intensive, on-campus classroom instruction with two eight-month periods of extensive fieldwork in agencies across the country.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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