Shawnta Smith: Queer Women’s Studies

s_smithShawnta Smith

Queer Women’s Studies

B.S., June 2006, cum Laude

Shawnta Smith said “Without CUNY BA/BS, I would have been lost, without direction, trying to find a program that I could fit into instead of a program that fits me.”  Smith found the right fit in CUNY BA/BS, and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in “Queer Women’s Studies.”  Her courses, taken at Brooklyn College, were drawn from the English, Health, Sociology, and Women’s Studies departments, under the guidance of Prof. Barbara Winslow, Women’s Studies, Brooklyn.  With the help of the CUNY Pipeline Program (, she went on to complete a Master’s in Library and Information Science with a Certificate in Archiving and Preservation Studies at Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies in June 2008.  She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Union Square Awards, the Urban Libraries Council, the NY Black Librarian’s Caucus, and the City of New York.

Currently, Smith is a Young Adult Reference Librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library at the Grand Army Plaza Central Branch, is a Coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and is Memberships and Fellowships Coordinator at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Smith finds equilibrium as co-coordinator of a queer women-of-color writing group in Brooklyn, NY and as a producer and collective member of Rivers of Honey, a women-of-color Cabaret at WOW Cafe Theater.  Smith is also a blogger and creative writer, currently working on commissions about Librarianship, Queer Archiving, and Lesbian Young Adult Fiction.

Before obtaining her Bachelor’s degree, Smith was co-founder and Director of Sister Outsider, a collective organization that employs self-supporting young women to develop social justice projects and earn living wages in Brooklyn, New York.; was a founding board member of FIERCE, a lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transsexual youth activist organization in NYC; and was founding member of YA-YA Network, a network for NYC-based youth organizations.

Smith has also been a presenter at several conferences including the Barnard College Scholar and the Feminist Conference.