· We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest: A Radical Commencement Discussion with Naomi Jaffe and Barbara Smith

May 28, 2020

Hosted by Students Organizing Mutual Aid and Defense: A radical commencement address and discussion with lifelong activists Naomi Jaffe, who organized as a student in the late 1960s as a part of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Weather Underground, and now works with Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration (CAAMI), and Barbara Smith, co-founder of the Combahee River Collective and Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. An interactive conversation with story-telling from Naomi and Barbara about how global political contexts as well as personal circumstances and choices have shaped their trajectories as activists, and an extended 30 minute participant discussion moderated by Sarah Fadem (they/them), who works with the Bennington College Student Union, about graduating college, and fighting for a lifetime.
Recording is forthcoming.

_We who believe in freedom cannot rest_

· Mount Holyoke Commencement

May 19, 2019
South Hadley, MA

A renowned philanthropist and business leader, a trailblazing activist who has focused her attention on the intersections of race, class, sexuality and gender, and an award-winning journalist will address the class of 2019 at Mount Holyoke College’s 182nd Commencement on May 19, 2019. Adrienne Arsht ’63, Barbara Smith ’69 and Gary Younge will speak to the graduating class. Mount Holyoke College will also confer honorary doctorates of humane letters on all three speakers.

· 2018 MAKERS Conference

February 5-7, 2018
Los Angeles, CA

The world is waking up. We all feel it. On every continent, in every industry, at every level, women are raising their voices louder than ever before. The 2018 MAKERS Conference took the movement to the next level. Starting with a Time’s Up discussion and ending with Hillary Rodham Clinton streaming live from New York, MAKERS brought together today’s leading changeMAKERS to tackle issues such as sexual harassment, diversity in leadership, equal pay, and more. We are at a watershed moment in the women’s movement, when difficult but necessary conversations must take place. MAKERS is ready to lead those conversations and push the movement forward. Time’s up—and our time is NOW.


· Combahee Revisited, Movement for Black Lives & Current State of Black Feminist Organizing and Leadership: Intergenerational Conversation

National Women’s Studies Association 2017 Annual Conference
Forty Years After Combahee: Feminist Scholars and Activists Engage the Movement for Black Lives
November 16-19, 2017
Baltimore, MD

This intergenerational panel will bring together some of the original members of the Combahee River Collective, including CRC statement co-author Barbara Smith, along with leaders of the Movement for Black Lives and #Sayhername, to talk about the history of Black feminist organizing and the impact of the Combahee River Collective statement on Black feminist praxis today.

Listen to a recording of the discussion.
Read the transcript.



· How We Get Free: Combahee River Collective Panel Discussion

Socialism 2017 Conference
July 6-9, 2017
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel,
2233 South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Chicago, IL 60616

Socialism 2017 is excited to announce “How We Get Free,” a panel discussion commemorating the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Combahee River Collective Statement. Panelists will include Barbara Smith and Demita Frazier, authors of the original document, as well as activists Alicia Garza, Barbara Ransby, Sharon Smith and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, who will discuss the impact of the statement on the struggles of today.

The Combahee River Collective, a revolutionary group of radical Black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of movements of the 1960s and ’70s. The group published the Combahee River Collective Statement in 1977, which was one of the earliest explorations of the intersection of multiple oppressions, including racism and sexism.

Demita Frazier, Beverly Smith, and Barbara Smith were the authors of the Combahee River Collective Statement. They theorized the concept of multiple oppressions, critiquing both sexual oppression in the Black community and racism within the wider feminist movement. They sought to destroy what they felt were the related evils of capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy.

· Say Her Name: 20 Years of Black Feminism in Action – June 10, 2017

Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

The African American Policy Forum is pleased to announce that Scholar, Activist and Titan of Black Feminism, Barbara Smith, will receive the Harriet Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her exemplary work in Intersectional Social Justice. Join us in honoring Barbara Smith on Saturday June 10th for Say Her Name: 20 Years of Intersectionality in Action as we celebrate two decades of intersectional research and activism at the African American Policy Forum.
AAPolicy Forum.jpg-large


· Keynote Address: Which Way Forward? Freedom Organizing in the 21st Century – April 22, 2017

12:30 – 1:15pm ET
The Benjamin Center
SUNY New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, NY 12561

Barbara Smith will deliver a Keynote Address at the Women in Politics: A Conference Commemorating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in New York State.

· Henry Johnson: A Tale of Courage – April 4, 2017

6:00pm ET
Huxley Theater
New York State Museum
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230

A panel discussion with Aaron Noble, New York State Museum Senior Historian and Barbara Smith, City of Albany special Community Projects Coordinator

· When Women Lead: Intersectional Perspectives on Working for Social Justice – March 29, 2017

5:00 – 7:00pm ET
Albany City Hall
24 Eagle Street
Albany, New York 12207

We are seeing many examples of women’s leadership and successful organizing during this period. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Women’s Studies scholar Barbara Smith will discuss women’s participation in movements for social justice and the need to recognize the impact of race and class as well as gender and sexuality when working to make change.
Women's History Month 2017 3-13-17

· International Day of Action- March 8, 2017

The International Women’s Strike on March 8th, 2017 is an international day of action, planned and organized by women in more than 30 different countries.

In the spirit of solidarity and internationalism, in the United States March 8th will be a day of action organized by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed towards working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women.

March 8th will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement that organizes resistance not just against Trump and his misogynist policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades long economic inequality, racial and sexual violence, and imperial wars abroad.

· Zealous Advocacy in Difficult Times – February 25, 2017

4:20pm ET
80 New Scotland Ave
Albany Law School
Albany, New York 12208

A panel discussion as part of the Advocacy and Activism Symposium organized by Albany Law School alum, Samantha Barnhart, Esq. and co-sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild-Albany Chapter, the New York Civil Liberties Union-Capital Region Chapter, and the New York State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Service Department. Panelists include Professor Margaret Burnham, Mark Mishler, Esq., and Barbara Smith. 

· Honoring Audre Lorde’s Birthday – February 15, 2017

6:30pm ET
YWCA Brooklyn
30 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11217

An intergenerational Dialogue on Radical Black Feminist Traditions in our Past, Present, and Futures.  Panelists include Kenyon Farrow, Reina Gossett, Barbara Smith, and Adaku Utah.


· Keynote Address – God Don’t Like Ugly and She’s Not Too Stuck on Pretty Either: Black Feminist Ethical Perspectives for These Times – February 2, 2017

10:45am ET
Hopkins Hall
880 Main Street
Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267

Barbara will deliver the keynote address at the Williams College 2017 Claiming Williams event.

· Inaugurate Resistance: Barbara Smith and Mark Mishler Leading a Workshop on Organizing for the Long Haul – January 21, 2017

Noon – 4 pm ET: Workshops, 4 pm ET: March & Rally
155 Washington Avenue (SEIU 1199 Bldg.)
Albany, New York

In solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, join Citizen Action, the Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia, and many other groups and individuals to resist Trump’s agenda and plan for a peaceful world that is
– Free of racism, Islamophobia, discrimination, mass incarceration, and war
– Welcoming to immigrants and refugees
– Supportive of women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, human rights
– Environmentally safe and free of fossil fuels
– Fair in labor practices, wages, and conditions
– Inclusive of quality education and healthcare for everyone

Workshops to date:
Confronting Racism and Islamophobia (Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia), The Impact of Dismantling Federal Health Care (Planned Parenthood), Information Literacy (Democratic Socialists of America), Organizing for the Long Haul (Barbara Smith & Mark Mishler), Organizing for the Long Haul (Barbara Smith & Mark Mishler), Lay It on the Masses (Citizen Action of New York)

Visit the Inaugurate Resistance webpage for more information.

· Black Feminist Roundtable: Chicago Activists in Conversation with Barbara Smith – January 19, 2017

5:30pm CT
Stevenson Hall
University of Illinois-Chicago
Chicago, Illinois 60607

Barbara will be in conversation with Aislinn Pulley (Black Lives Matter Chicago), Valerie Papillon (Black Youth Project 100), Page May (We Charge Genocide), Kush Thompson (A Church Beneath the Bulldozer)


· Which Way Forward? Freedom Organizing in the Twenty-First Century – January 18, 2017

6:00pm – 8:00pm CT
2320 N. Kenmore
DePaul University
Chicago, Illinois 60604


· Keynote Address – Martin Luther King Jr. Day Teach In – January 16, 2017

1:00pm CT
Hanson Student Center
Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, Illinois 61701

Barbara will deliver the keynote address at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Teach-In.

MLK Teach In

· Special post-election conversation on WAMC’s The Roundtable – November 9, 2016

9:00am – 11:00 am ET
The Linda, WAMC Performing Arts Studio
339 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206

On the day after the election, Barbara will participate in a two-hour panel with a live audience at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio. Tickets to this event are being offered as a premium for donating during the WAMC fund drive, but everyone can listen live through a local station or at 

· What Do We Really Mean When We Talk about “Race?” – September 28, 2016

12:00pm – 1:00 pm ET
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center Auditorium
113 Holland Ave, Albany, NY 12208

Talking about race can be uncomfortable on a number of levels. One reason is that we often do not have a shared understanding of the terms that are used when race is the topic.

Join us for guest speaker and author Barbara Smith, who is also an activist, regular panelist on WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s Round Table, and independent scholar who has played a groundbreaking role in opening up a national cultural and political dialogue about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender, discusses various terms used to talk about race, for example the difference between prejudice and institutionalized racism, so that we can understand each other better and be more effective in addressing injustice.

· Home. Of Transforming Community. Protest. Activism. Resistance. – September 19, 2016

1:15 pm to 2:30 pm ET
College of Saint Rose Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary
959 Madison Avenue
Albany NY

Panel Guest Speakers:
Barbara Smith: Special Community Projects Coordinator, City of Albany Former Albany Common Council Member Publisher and Founder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press
Angelica Clarke: Director, Social Justice Center of Albany Black Lives Matter—Upstate NY Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration (CAAMI)
Joe Paparone: Clergy & Community Organizer, NY Labor—Religion Coalition New Sanctuary for Immigrants Advocacy Coordinator, FOCUS Churches of Albany Alum of the College of Saint Rose
Angela Ledford: Professor of Political Theory, College of Saint Rose Member of the Saint Rose Community Advisory Board

Within their reflections, our three guest speakers will address how they respond to those persons who hold views which oppose their own.

· Gender Equality in the Workplace: A Town Hall – July 26, 2016

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET
The Linda – WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio
339 Central Avenue
Albany NY 12206
This event is free an open to the public, but RSVP is required:

What arguments have been advanced to keep women disadvantaged in the workplace? How have these arguments been overcome? What are the unique challenges women of color face in the workplace?  What is the biggest obstacle for gender inequality in the workplace today? These and other questions will be address in this this two-part event.  After a brief history of gender inequality in the workplace, panelists will discuss the systemic challenges women face today. 

Before and after the discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about professional development opportunities and resources.  Organizations from the Capital Region will share their resources and services such as workshops, scholarships, networking events, and more.  

This event is co-sponsored by WAMC Northeast Public Radio. The Democracy in Dialogue Project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #NYDialogues. 

Albany Town Hall - Gender Equality 7.26

· Planned Parenthood Women’s Leadership Circle Kickoff Luncheon – July 12, 2016

11:00am ET
Albany Hilton
40 Lodge Street
Albany NY

Join Barbara Smith and Cecile Richards as they kick off the Planned Parenthood Women’s Leadership Circle. Tickets are available in advance.


· INFORUM and SF Pride Presents Black Lives Matter + the LGBTQI Community Forum – June 20 2016
A recording of this event is available at

6:30pm PT
Commonwealth Club
555 Post Street
San Francisco CA

Join INFORUM of Commonwealth Club and SF Pride for a celebration of San Francisco’s LGBT history and a powerful discussion about SF Pride’s theme “For Racial and Economic Justice.” The panelists will also touch on how this year’s organizational Grand Marshal Black Lives Matter have impacted the LGBTQI community.

Panelists include:
Alicia Garza (2015 Grand Marshal) co-founder of Black Lives Matter (2016 Community Organizational Grand Marshal).

Darnell Moore, Senior Correspondent at Mic, Co-Managing/Editor at The Feminist Wire and writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University.

Aria Sa’id serves as Programs Director for the St. James Infirmary- a peer based occupational health and safety clinic for sex workers and their families in San Francisco. In addition, she has previously worked with the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the UCSF Department of Medicine in research that seeks to advance transgender women of color’s access to health and wellness. With her blog, “Trans Sex in the City,”, she writes in more detail on her experiences with intimacy, engaging in sex work, and being a cosmopolitan vixen.

Moderated by:
Barbara Smith, Black feminist author and activist, Co-Founder, the Combahee River Collective; Co-Founder, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press; Special Community Projects Coordinator/Equity Agenda for the City of Albany, New York.

BSmith Inform SF Commonwealth

· National Call with Women for Bernie – April 22, 2016

8:00pm ET
Barbara Smith joins a national call with Women for Bernie. Join the call on Friday, April 22 at 8:00 pm ET with opening remarks by Jane Sanders, and special guests Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Linda Sarsour, and Barbara Smith about women’s rights in this election. Senator Turner, former state senator and minority whip of Ohio, will be having a conversation about a wide variety of women’s issues with Linda Sarsour, Arab American Association of New York Executive Director, which will be moderated by Barbara Smith, renowned Black feminist scholar, long-time activist, member of the LGBTQ community, and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. There will also be a Q&A!
Event link:
Facebook link:

Sanders call 2016.04.22

· Inside the Continuum: The Combahee River Collective and Black Feminist Foundations – March 25, 2016   (Combahee panel begins at 4:13:50 in the linked video.)

3:00pm – 5:30pm ET
Student Union Ballroom
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Campus Center, Room 163C
On March 25, 2016, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst hosted the first ever Combahee River Collective reunion. A panel titled Inside the Continuum: The Combahee River Collective and Black Feminist Foundations was included as part of Feminist Poetics: Legacies of June Jordan, a symposium celebrating the work of feminist poet, scholar and activist June Jordan, and her legacies in contemporary feminist poetics. The event was live-streamed for a national audience.

Sharing the symposium stage:
Cheryl Clarke, Demita Frazier, Akasha Gloria Hull, Margo Okazawa-Rey, Sharon Page Ritchie, Barbara Smith,
Moderator: Paula Giddings


· Colgate University’s Center for Women’s Study Visiting Lecture – March 8, 2016

12:00pm – 1:30pm ET
Colgate University
Center for Women’s Studies
Hamilton, New York 13346
Barbara Smith and Alethia Jones will address students and faculty at Colgate University to discuss sustaining activism.

· Plenary Panel at the National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference:
Black Feminism and the Movement for Black Lives – January 21, 2016

8:00pm CT
Hilton Chicago
720 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
Panelists: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, and Charlene Carruthers
Black Feminism remains a foundation theory and practice guiding social justice movements for Black lives. Black Feminism challenges us to act on the inextricable connects of sexism, class oppression, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia. As the contemporary Movement for Black Lives has invigorated resistance to racism and structural violence, this panel reflects on ways that Black Feminism shapes and informs the current struggles and successes.

· Albany Public Library Foundation Literary Legends Event – November 14, 2015

7:00pm – 9:00pm ET
Albany Public Library Delaware Branch
331 Delaware Avenue, Albany, New York 12209
On Saturday, November 14, 2015, the Albany Public Library Foundation will host the Second Annual Literary Legends event. This year, the Foundation and friends will gather at the Delaware Branch to honor Albany-native and Wicked author, Gregory Maguire and Barbara Smith, the African-American feminist author who has called Albany her home for decades.

The Literary Legends gala is a fundraiser for the Albany Public Library. It includes live music; food catered by Café Capriccio, New World Bistro, Saati’s, and Yono’s; a silent auction, and the awards ceremony. More information and tickets are available on the Albany Public Library website


· The Changing Face of Activism – October 8, 2015

5:30pm ET
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201
How has affecting social change evolved, from desegregation in the 1960s, to Black Lives Matter today? Moderated by Alethia Jones, a leader of 1199SEIU UHWE, the panelists include Barbara Smith, who has spent four decades fighting racism, classism, homophobia and sexism; Joo-Hyun Kang of Communities United for Police Reform; and Jose Lopez, Lead Organizer at Make the Road NY and member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

· A Celebration of the Activism of Barbara Smith – March 31, 2015

7:00pm ET
200 Milne Hall, Downtown Campus,135 Western Avenue, Albany NY12203
Rockefeller College, the New York State Writers Institute and SUNY Press invite you to a celebration of the life and work of influential activist Barbara Smith. We’ll begin the evening with a panel discussion moderated by Susan Arbetter of The Capitol Pressroom, featuring Barbara with Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, editors of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. Immediately following the discussion, there will be a dessert reception and book signing with Barbara. Please RSVP by clicking on the flyer below to let us know you’ll be there.

· Book Signing at the 1199SEIU Penthouse: Celebrate Women and Social Justice with Icon Barbara Smith – March 12, 2015

5:00pm-7:00pm ET
330 West 42nd Street, New York NY 10036
Barbara Smith and Alethia Jones host a night of conversation reflecting on 40 years of radical activism rooted in the heritage of Black feminism. Learn how Barbara’s movement building shaped the ideas behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

· Forum at the Murphy Institute: Identity Politics: Key to New Coalitions for Radical Change – March 13, 2015

Co-sponsored with 1199SEIU UHWE and The Worker Institute at Cornell
9:30am-11:15am ET
25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor, New York NY 10036
Join Barbara Smith and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” book contributors for a panel discussion!

Barbara Smith argues that “identity politics”— rather than presenting an obstacle to forming coalitions for social and economic justice – offer an essential foundation for such coalitions. Drawing on forty years of work with civil rights, feminist, LGBTQ and other movements, Smith’s new book, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, edited by Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, poses an urgent set of related questions that Barbara and forum panelists will consider.

Panelists: Barbara Smith (Black feminist organizer and author), Joo-Hyun Kang (Spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform), and Gerry Hudson (Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union). Chirlane McCray (First Lady of NYC) will introduce Barbara Smith. George Gresham (President of 1199SEIU UHWE) will open the panel. Alethia Jones (1199SEIU UHWE Education Director) will moderate.


· Book Event at the Murphy Institute Conference for Queer Survival Economies – January 23-24, 2015

All day
25 West 43rd Street, 19th Floor, New York NY 10036
“Invisible Lives, Targeted Bodies: Impacts of Economic Injustice on Vulnerable LGBTO Communities” is a two-day conference that will bring together organizers, scholars, activists, and community members to discuss overlooked and often invisible economic justice issues at the intersections of class, race, gender, immigration, non-traditional families, sexuality, and the law. If you’re going to the Murphy Institute Conference for Queer Survival Economies, find SUNY Press to purchase your copy of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.

· Book Signing at The Book House – Friday, November 28, 2014

7:00pm ET
1475 Western Avenue, Albany NY 12203
Come and meet Barbara Smith while she signs copies of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building.

· Book Launch at The University Club of Albany: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

6:00pm – 9:00pm ET
141 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12210
Join us for a reception, panel discussion, and a book signing. The panel will include Barbara Smith and Virginia Eubanks, who co-edited the book with Alethia Jones, and will be moderated by Elaine Houston, anchor of WNYT NewsChannel 13 Live at 5:30 and “Today’s Woman” reporter.

· Book Signing at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference – Saturday, November 13, 2014

2:30pm – 3:30pm AT
Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel, San Juan Puerto Rico
Don’t miss the “Aint’ Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” book signing with editors Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, along with other book contributors. Stop buy SUNY Press exhibitor booths 104 and 106.