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Black History Month Forum Presentation: Race Amity

Race Amity: America’s Other Tradition in Race Relations with Dr. William H. Smith

The purpose of holding this forum, Race Amity: America’s Other Tradition is to have the Northern Essex Community College community consider an unexplored frame of reference in the discussion of American race relations. Society is well aware of the tradition of racism in American institutions and interaction based on bigotry, prejudice, and racism. Much less apparent is the moral counterweight to the tradition of racism. This moral counterweight, this “other tradition” is racial amity and close cross racial/cross cultural collaboration which has been at the heart of actions to advance access, equity, and social justice in society. The purpose of the forum is to have those in attendance consider entering the discourse on race by examining ways of celebrating and emulating the moral stance and tactics from “the other tradition.” This forum will include a trailer from the documentary An American Story: Race Amity and The Other Tradition which is presently in production for broadcast on public television.

The forum presentation is open to Faculty Staff, and Students.

Date and time

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm


Spurk Building (C)
Lecture Hall A
Haverhill Campus

More Information

If you have any questions, please contact Linda Meccouri, dean of professional development, at lmeccouri@necc.mass.edu or at 978-556-3955.

Sponsored by: The Center for Professional Development.

Biography of Dr. William H. Smith:

 Dr. William H. SmithWilliam H. Smith, is the founding executive director of the National Center for Race Amity based at Wheelock College in Boston, Ma. A native of South Carolina, Smith’s initial college career began in integrating division one football in the old Confederate South at Wake Forest College. He was profiled in the Sports Illustrated cover story (November 7, 2005) as one of the pioneers who changed the face of college football. He left Wake Forest to work as a community organizer in the Civil Rights Movement and was drafted into the US Army. He graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst after serving as a medic in Vietnam, where he was awarded two Bronze Star stars and the Combat Medic Badge. He also earned his doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Smith has addressed issues of race and diversity in his work with civic, philanthropic and religious organizations including the Phelps Stokes Fund where he served as a trustee and secretary of the Board of Directors, the Regional Baha’i Council for the Northeast States on which he served for ten years, as the Media Advisor to the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS), and the Board of Directors of the Africa Media Image Project. In 2000 he organized the historic Joint Congressional Resolution establishing a National Day of Honor to recognize the service of African American and other minority soldiers in World War II. In conjunction with that event, he wrote and produced an award winning documentary film, “The Invisible Soldiers: Unheard Voices,” which aired on PBS.

Under Smith’s direction the National Center for Race Amity organized the Middle School Race Amity Theater Project which uses theater to teach moral reasoning skills to middle and high school students.

Currently the National Center for Race Amity, through its initiative Towards E Pluribus Unum oversees the annual Metro Boston Race Amity Celebration on the Rose Kennedy Greenway which is in its fourth year, coordinates the lobbying effort to establish National Race Amity Day through a resolution of Congress, and hosts the annual National Race Amity Conference and Race Amity Medal of Honor Awards. Dr Smith is serving as executive producer of the documentary, An American Story: Race Amity and the Other Tradition, currently in production for public television.

Dr. Smith has received awards from numerous organizations including the International Academy of Communications Arts and Sciences, the National Association for Black Veterans, Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, the Screen Actors Guild, and the National Education Association.