Whitney Blount Smith, Augsburg College
Whitney Blount Smith has been engaged in a wide array of civic work rooted in her belief that everyone is capable of success with community support. As a founding member of Augsburg’s Students for Racial Justice, Whitney educates on anti-racism and provides an open space for students to explore the effects of discrimination in our society. She gives people language to identify and address incidents of racism and discrimination. Motivated to pave the way for other young people to go to college, Whitney also serves her community as a youth mentor at Project for Pride in Living and Battle Creek Middle School. Whitney was a facilitator in the Augsburg Theater Department’s production called Debt. Student-led town hall conversations about student debt used theater techniques to catalyze dialogue. As a facilitator, Whitney took on a complex, emotional topic with grace, clarity, and insight. Whitney was an integral part of opening Augsburg’s first student food shelf. She was involved in planning, contributing insights about students’ experiences, and organizing the space. Whitney’s work has had a tremendous effect on the culture of the college. She is an activist, a writer, an ally, an intellectual, and a powerful leader.