A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Honorary degree recipients have international ties

Yesterday, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney announced that the college will award honorary degrees to five distinguished guests at the 136th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, 2014. The recipients are Ela Bhatt, Eric Carle, Swanee Hunt, Evelyn Fox Keller, and Ruth Simmons.

Two of the recipients—Ela Bhatt and Swanee Hunt—have strong international ties.

bhattEla Bhatt is an international activist and founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA). Deeply influenced by the teachings of Gandhi, with whom her grandparents had worked to achieve Indian independence from Britain, Bhatt has spent most of her life organizing grassroots movements in support of the rights of women and girls. A lawyer by training, Bhatt has focused her work specifically on protecting—and fighting for—the rights of women workers in India. She founded SEWA in 1972 to help women organize for better pay and working conditions in India’s textile industry. Today, the organization has more than a million members and has been called “one of the best—if not the best—grassroots programs for women on the planet.” In 2007, Bhatt was asked by Nelson Mandela to join The Elders, a group of international leaders he had formed to advocate for human rights worldwide. With The Elders, Bhatt has led initiatives to combat child marriage. Throughout her career, Bhatt has been honored with numerous awards, including the Global Fairness Initiative Award and the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.

HuntSwanee Hunt is the former United States ambassador to Austria and founding director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Early in her career, Hunt made a name for herself in Denver, where for nearly 20 years she advocated on behalf of two mayors and the governor for better affordable housing, high-quality public education and women’s empowerment. Later, as ambassador to Austria from 1993 to 1997, she developed an expertise on domestic policy and foreign affairs, especially as they relate to women. She is known worldwide as a specialist on women in politics and has been a determined advocate for women’s leadership in Eastern Europe in particular. Hunt is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of numerous articles and books, including This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, which won the 2005 PEN/New England Award for nonfiction. Through the Hunt Alternatives Fund, which she founded with her sister Helen, she has donated more than $100 million toward youth arts organizations, various social movements and efforts to combat human trafficking. In 2007, Hunt was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>