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Inclusion & Diversity Conference on April 10

December 14, 2018

Dear students, staff and faculty:

On April 10, 2019, all classes, meetings and events will be canceled so that our entire campus community—students, staff and faculty—can join together for immersive learning about inclusion, diversity and equity. Central to Smith’s mission and values is “creating an inclusive, equitable and accessible educational community founded on the free and open exchange of ideas.” This work is an important step in this direction.

This daylong conference will be an important opportunity to focus on what it means to be a genuine community of belonging for all, as well as to celebrate who we are—and who we aspire to be—as a community.

In January, a steering committee, comprising students, staff, faculty and administrators, will begin shaping the conference program. The steering committee will be supported by The Collaborations Group, a diverse group of facilitators and trainers who have helped create inclusion-related programs for Mount Holyoke and Amherst colleges. The Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity will coordinate the conference, with counsel from the Inclusion Council. One of the first items of business for the steering committee will be to determine the name for the conference.

The more participation we have from all groups within our community, the more meaningful this experience will be. Every student, faculty member and staff member on this campus has knowledge and experience from which each of us can gain greater understanding. I hope that many of you will volunteer to serve as presenters, workshop leaders and performers, whether individually or as groups, departments, clubs or organizations. The steering committee will issue a call for proposals at the beginning of the spring semester.

Learning from one another about our histories and identities, and deepening our understanding of race, class, gender, disability and privilege, will make Smith a stronger community. I look forward to learning alongside you on April 10th.


Kathleen McCartney