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Civil Rights Pioneer Ignites Spirit of Activism at Boston College

MARCH 5, 2015

On February 19th, civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin presented a talk on her life at the Boston College School of Social Work, remembering the day 60 years ago when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Colvin was a trailblazer in the fight for civil rights – her refusal of segregation took place nine months before Rosa Parks’ similar protest. She was only 15 years old at the time.

"Claudette spoke eloquently about how she has proactively addressed adversity throughout her life, and she encouraged our faculty and students to stand up and provide a compassionate voice when confronted with social injustice in our own lives," said BC Social Work Dean Alberto Godenzi. "She also encouraged us to strive to understand what’s happening in the world around us today, and she asked us to remember our distinct pasts as a critical means to gaining truthful perspectives on our shared futures."  More about Civil Rights Pioneer Claudette Colvin »

"Social Work is BC"

FEBRUARY 25, 2015

On November 11th, we returned to our roots, reclaiming the original name bestowed upon the school by its founders in 1936, the Boston College School of Social Work. The name change offered the school an opportunity to celebrate its history, its people, and its mission; the title of the event was "Social Work is BC." It was a title that resonated deeply with featured speaker Father Jack Butler, Boston College's Vice President for the Division of University Mission and Ministry.

"And then I saw your hashtag, 'Social Work is BC,' and I said 'There's the prophets,'" he told a packed audience in McGuinn Hall's auditorium. "They’re calling back to all of us in the administration, all of us in the separate schools, all the students here, and you are saying to us, 'Do you remember what the mission is?'"

The evening was designed to celebrate the many unique and diverse ways that BC Social Work seeks to live out its mission of social justice, and to making transformation happen. More than 20 initiatives and programs participated in a dynamic "flash mob style" presentation that included singing, dancing, inspiring remarks, quotations from people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and loud cheers. The Latino Leadership Initiative unfurled a banner displaying the school’s new name, in a new language — Spanish.  More about "Social Work is BC" »

Events

Distinguished Speakers Lecture: Delano Lewis, Former Ambassador to South Africa

Delano Lewis
Delano Lewis

"Caring for People is a Global Responsibility"
APRIL 26, 2012
9:00–11:00 a.m.
Heights Room, Corcoran Commons
Breakfast Buffet
RSVP by April 13, 2012, to Serena Heartz at heartz@bc.edu or 617-552-0866

Delano Lewis, former Ambassador to South Africa, will be the featured speaker at the GSSW Distinguished Speakers Lecture. Mr. Lewis will discuss how we are all connected and interconnected globally and will speak about opportunities to serve in the U.S. and around the world. He will refer to his Peace Corps and South African ambassadorship experiences as well as focus on what's working in the business world and the not-for-profit world.

Mr. Lewis was Ambassador to South Africa from 1999 to 2001, and previously held leadership roles with the Peace Corps, National Public Radio, and the U.S. diplomatic corps.

Mr. Lewis served ten years in the Federal Government from 1963 until 1973. He served as an attorney with the Deptartment of Justice; as an attorney in the Office of Compliance in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Associate Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Nigeria and Country Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Uganda; Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts and Chief of Staff for Delegate Walter Fauntroy of the District of Columbia.

From 1973 until 1984, Delano Lewis was an executive with the C&P Telephone Company in Washington DC, a subsidiary of AT&T. From 1984 until 1994, he was an Officer of Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), retiring in 1994 as President and CEO of the District of Columbia operations. In 1994, Mr. Lewis was named President and CEO of National Public Radio in Washington, DC.

In June 1999, President Clinton nominated Delano Lewis as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. The United States Senate confirmed him on November 10, 1999. In September 2006, he assumed the position of Senior Fellow at New Mexico State University where he established The Institute for International Relations. He served as the Director of the Institute. On July 1, 2010, until June 30, 2011, he held the position of Interim Dean of International and Border Programs at New Mexico State University.

Mr. Lewis now serves on the boards of the Colgate Palmolive Company, the Eastman Kodak Company, and the American Institutes for Research.

Watch a video of the event »