10th Anniversary Events

From Jim Crow America to Apartheid South Africa and Beyond: A Journalist’s Journey

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist will deliver the first spring Body Politic(s) lecture of Spring 2009 and launch the WCL Tenth Anniversary celebration with a lecture entitled From Jim Crow America to Apartheid South Africa and Beyond: A Journalist’s Journey.  Ms Gault will speak on Friday, 27 March at 7:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium, Art Building on the campus of Mount Holyoke.  Ms. Hunter-Gault is a veteran and prize-winning journalist.  She was part of the heroic cohort of students who integrated universities in the American South during the Civil Rights era.  The first African-American woman to enter the University of Georgia, she graduated in 1962 with a degree in journalism.

At the New York Times, Ms. Hunter-Gault was the first African American reporter on staff and she held the position of Harlem Bureau Chief.  During her tenure at the New York Times, Ms. Gault won numerous awards, including the National Urban Coalition Award for Distinguished Urban Reporting and The New York Times' Publisher's Award.  She served as Johannesburg Bureau Chief and Correspondent for CNN, and spent two decades at PBS where she was National Correspondent for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and also was anchor of Rights and Wrongs, the award-winning human rights-focused newsmagazine. From 1997 to 1999, she was based in Johannesburg as chief correspondent in Africa for NPR.

Ms. Hunter-Gault has written for numerous publications, including Essence, Ms., The New York Times Magazine, Saturday Review, The New York Times Book Review, Essence, Life, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Vogue.  Her honors include two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and many honorary degrees.  Her books include New News Out of Africa: What Africa Means to Me and In My Place, a memoir of her role in the civil rights movement as the first African American woman admitted to the University of Georgia.

In addition to her Body Politic(s) lecture, Ms. Hunter-Gault will be part of the Weissman Center's Tenth Anniversary Leadership Symposium scheduled for Saturday, March 28th.  For information about the WCL Anniversary and Leadership Symposium that features presentations by Congresswoman Nita Lowey ’59, activist Carolyn Jessop, journalist Maria Hinojosa, MHC Athletics Director Laurie Priest, and historian Mary Kelley '65, see the WCL 10th Anniversary website.

Leadership in Action: WCL Alumnae and Students
Saturday, 28 March  9:30am
Cleveland Hall, L2
Our Weissman Center Tenth Anniversary Leadership Symposium begins with a focus on four Mount Holyoke women whose ambitions, academic passions and professional goals embody the mission of our center and the college.  As recipients of Weissman Center student leadership grants, Marcia Schenck '09 and Dyanne Rousseau FP '10, will discuss the academic and professional interests that enabled them to shape memorable and rewarding time in South Africa and Washington, D.C. respectively.  Yedalis Ruiz FP '08 will discuss her commitment to civic engagement and her leadership in the center's Community-Based Learning program.  Mika Weissbuch '11, a former Take the Lead participant and mentor and current Speaking, Arguing, and Writing mentor, will present on the power of peer mentoring and leadership development opportunities supported by the center. Laura Greenfield, coordinator of the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Program of the Weissman Center, will moderate the panel.

Women’s Voices and the Public Sphere
Panel presentation and discussion
Saturday, 28 March    10:45 am
Cleveland L2

The impact of women on the public sphere is inextricably linked to the ways in which they use their voices to shape public debate, implement change, critique policies and positions that have local, national, and international implications, and inspire others to meaningful reflection and substantial action. This panel considers women's education, presence, and negotiations of the public sphere and public life from both historical and contemporary perspectives. In addition, the panel will reflect on the politics of the public sphere and the tensions and possibilities that emerge as women continue to acquire more visible public roles and positions of power.  The panel will feature presentations by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a distinguished two-time Emmy award-winning journalist, Carolyn Jessop, a newly published author and courageous mother and former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, and Mary Kelley '65, an eminent historian and scholar of American women's history and nineteenth-century education. Lois Brown, director of the Weissman Center and associate professor of English, will moderate the panel.

Voices and Visions of Transformative Leadership: A Weissman Center Documentary
Saturday, 28 March 1:45 pm
Cleveland Hall, L2

A documentary that showcases the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts and focuses on the students whose ideas, work, and goals embody the mission of the center, enrich our programming, and advance the work of the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Program and the Community-Based Learning Program. See the Mount Holyoke women--past and present--who represent the best of our college and whose actions confirm that that ideas passionately pursued and eloquently expressed are at the heart of leadership.

Leadership and the Liberal Arts
Saturday, 28 March 1:45 pm
Cleveland Hall, L2

The liberal arts are essential to leadership and enable the essential talents and reservoirs of knowledge, confidence, and sense of purpose that are essential to meaningful and substantial engagement with the world.  Our panelists will draw from their professional work in politics, journalism, and athletics and their experiences at Seven Sister schools and liberal arts colleges to reflect on the power of women's education, the evolving nature of leadership, the power and potential of the liberal arts, and the ways in which women's colleges and schools have shaped and continue to impact the world in which we live.  Join us for presentations by Mount Holyoke alumna and United States Congresswoman Nita Lowey '59, Barnard College graduate and pioneering journalist Maria Hinojosa, and Laurie Priest, graduate of the College of Wooster and our widely honored Director of Athletics. 

Under the Shadow of the Camera: Reflections of the #Khomani San
Gallery talk and multimedia exhibit by Marcia Schenck ‘09
Saturday, March 28   3:45 pm
Blanchard Art Gallery

In the summer of 2008, Marcia Schenck '09 traveled to South Africa to intensify her independent study and honors thesis research on issues of land rights of the #Khomani San, a community numbering some 1500 and located in the Northern Province in South Africa.  A Weissman Center Student Leadership grant provided essential support for her archival research in South Africa and her promising outreach and work with the #Khomani San community.  This exhibit includes photographs taken by #Khomani San members, historic South African images of the San, and media installations created on the basis of fieldwork material emphasizing the role of the camera in the creation of “Bushmen” images.

Legacies of Leadership: A Weissman Center Exhibit
An exhibit showcasing the development of the Weissman Center, student leadership, and center donors will be on display throughout the weekend in Porter Hall.