About the Presenter
Irene Smalls holds an MBA in Behavioral Science and a degree in Black Studies from Cornell University. A Black student activist, she is the founder of the Cornell Black Alumni Association and Wari House, the first official Black women’s residence on an Ivy League college campus. Smalls led the first Black student protests at Cornell university, protesting the mistreatment of Black women in Cornell’s Balch Dormitory. A former Black beauty queen, Irene was also one of the first natural hair, AFRO, models for Supreme Beauty Products in the 1960s. Smalls sold Black love to the military with her line of “I Love You” Black woman, Black man, Black child T shirts. Smalls arranged the purchase of a million dollars worth of land for a dispossessed Black church for $1. Growing up in Harlem, New York during the 1950s, Irene has experienced segregation, integration, racial violence, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and present-day racial conservatism.
She is the author of 4 Black history picture books for children sourced from original enslaved narratives. They are part of her 12 month, one Black history book for each month of the year, picture book series.
“Thank you Irene for such a wonderful, informative, and very important workshop for our families.”
” I want to express our appreciation for your enriching presentation. The audience connected with you and were engaged in very personal way with your story.”