Edith Renfrow Smith '37, the first African American woman to graduate from the College, shares her memories of growing up in Grinnell, her family's history of slavery, and her incredible life.
Smith received an honorary degree at the 2019 Commencement ceremony. After graduating from Grinnell with a major in psychology and minors in history and economics, Smith then moved to Chicago, where she has lived since, working as a stenographer and public school teacher. Smith is now 105 years old and is part of a Northwestern University study of "superagers." In the episode, Smith discusses the importance of education in her family as they went from slavery to college graduates in two generations, and reflects on lessons learned from her long life.
On this special episode of All Things Grinnell, we talk with Shafiq Khan, the winner of the 2019 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. Khan is the founder and CEO of EMPOWER PEOPLE, an organization in northern India that works to eradicate bride trafficking and empower and liberate the women and girls who are victimized.