Straight Talk from Author of “Curveball”

What a treat it was to hear from Mount Holyoke College professor, Dr. Martha Ackmann, a nationally recognized journalist and author. Ackmann was the lead off speaker for Williston’s 10th Annual Diversity Day on Feb. 16.
With the entire student body arrayed before her, Dr. Ackmann told the mesmerizing story of Toni Stone—perhaps the least known famous name in all of baseball. Stone was an African American woman who made her way in the Negro League in the pre-Civil Rights era.
Stone’s name was not widely known until Dr. Ackmann’s passion for uncovering lost voices brought her to rightful prominence. The story Dr. Ackmann told was unforgettable. (I suspect “Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone the First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League” is an equally engrossing read.)
So, at a day where Williston paused to reflect on identity, difference, the power of words and voice, our keynote speaker set the tone and topics for a remarkable day.
Schools never like to disrupt the academic day. When they do, it reveals what is most important to their community and institutional culture. For Williston, what strikes at the core of our mission is also the essence of what it means to live in a diverse and respectful community.

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