Breaking Barriers: Smith Alumnae Dialogue

Please join us for an evening of thoughtful and engaging dialogue on issues of diversity and inclusion in our personal and professional lives.

Hosted by the Alumnae Association of Smith College (AASC), ALAS (Association of Latina Alumnae of Smith) and the Smith College Club of New York (SCCNYC), this ground-breaking event will feature alums working on the cutting edge of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality in a range of fields including education and the arts, media and activism, politics and philanthropy.


When: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 6:00 – 8:30 pm 

Where: Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin* High School (LREI)

40 Charlton Street (between Avenue of the Americas and Varick Street), New York, NY 10014.


What: Reception and panel of Smith alumnae.  Light refreshments will be served.


Cost: This event is open to all and is free of charge.  




Accessibility: LREI is fully accessible for those with mobility impairments.  Please indicate on your registration form if you require an ASL interpreter.


Subway/Directions: From “E” or “C” at Spring Street station, walk north on Sixth Avenue to Charlton Street, then turn left on Charlton Street. OR from “1” train at Houston Street station (use King Street exit), walk south on Varick Street to Charlton Street and turn left.


 *Elisabeth Irwin, founder of LREI is a Smith alumna, Class of 1903. 


The Panelists



Sylvia (Smith) Wong Lewis ’74 is a digital storyteller, filmmaker and CEO, founder of Narrative Network, a media company specializing in storytelling and legacy services and a distinguished journalist and noted genealogist.  Sylvia’s most recent work, an episode called Strange Fruit was featured on Soul Music, a BBC Radio program. Her film, From Shanghai to Harlem, recently won two awards—Telly Gold Award and AVA Bronze award. 



Mona Sinha is a founding member of the Asian Women’s Leadership University,  being established in Malaysia.  It is focused on empowering women as future leaders of Asia.  She serves on the Advisory Board of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School and is a Trustee of All Souls School. Mona is also on the Advisory Council of the American Museum of Natural History and is a patron of the Science and Nature Program serving underprivileged girls.



Jennifer is the Vice President for Alumnae Relations and Executive Director of the Alumnae Association at Smith College. Prior to joining Smith, Jennifer was the Executive Director of Family Equality Council, a national organization advocating for the rights of LGBT parents and their children. 



Jennifer M.D. Matos earned a doctorate of Education with a concentration in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She currently teaches at Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where she is a Lecturer in Sociology and Lecturer in Social Work. Dr. Matos is the founder of the Social Justice at Work Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in providing training and transformative resources related to social justice and diversity to private organizations and schools within higher education.

Claudia Chan is a women's leadership and lifestyle expert dedicated to celebrating today's female role models through her 200+ remarkable women interview series on, and through S.H.E. Summit, the annual global women's week convening women dreamers with extraordinary female thought leaders of the 21st century.


For the past seventeen years, Ileana Jiménez has been a leader in the field of social justice education.   Committed to creating inclusive schools, Ileana believes in transforming education for gender, racial, and economic justice.



Sophia Wallace is an American conceptual artist and photographer. Through the use of images, video and mixed media, she explores alterity. Wallace’s focus is how otherness is constructed visually on the gendered, sexualized, racialized body. Recent residencies include the Art Law Residency, Wassaic Residency and the Artist Lab Residency at CENTER.


Casey Grayson has a passion for films and documentaries. She graduated with honors with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and Film Studies from Smith College and completed a Summer Seminar at Trinity College, Oxford University, in Creative Writing and Literature. Casey lived in London for nearly five years and worked in the British Film and TV Industry as a Production Runner and Personal Assistant. Casey currently is a small-business owner living and working in New York City.


Nkechi Nneji is an Interview Producer with Al Jazeera America. Her career began as a News Assistant at CNN'S New York bureau, where she also enjoyed jobs as a Production Assistant for CNN Special Projects and as an Associate Producer for CNN Heroes. After leaving CNN in 2011, Nneji was hired as an Associate Producer for the Huffington Post's new online streaming network, Huff Post Live.