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Solving the Crisis of Leadership: Swarthmore’s Dr. Valerie Smith on “The Inflection Point”

headshots of Monica Langley and Valerie Smith

Quick Take: Dr. Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College joined Monica Langley, EVP of Global Strategic Affairs at Salesforce, to discuss how liberal arts can benefit our nation, leading with purpose in her community, and diversity in education on “The Inflection Point.” 

What’s the Impact: In 2020, the United States faced the convergence of multiple crises, one being a crisis of leadership.  Dr. Smith, renowned scholar of African-American studies, talks about how Swarthmore College and schools like it are providing that leadership in their communities, by instilling in their students the importance of diversity and the value of working together, no matter our differences.

What they’re saying: Dr. Smith shares her mission of diversity and inclusion in Swarthmore College’s student body:

“To work collaboratively with people who bring different perspectives, different areas of expertise, different life experiences together…is crucial, given the complexity of the challenges that we face as a global community.” 

“I think that part of the reason our institutions, an institution like Swarthmore, is committed to diversity and inclusion is because we believe we are preparing students to live and work and learn in a world that is populated by people who are very different from themselves, racially, ethnically, politically, religiously.” 

Go Deeper: To learn more about Dr. Smith’s mission to diversify Swarthmore College and her impact on the greater Philadelphia community, be sure to watch the full episode of “The Inflection Point,” here.


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