Jodi Shaw, a single mom with two children, quit her job at Smith College in protest against the racialized policies at the school. What happened to Jodi at Smith became a front-page story in the New York Times.

After pushing back against a racially hostile environment for two and half years, Jodi bravely resigned her staff position, telling Smith’s president, “I can no longer work in this environment, nor can I remain silent about a matter so central to basic human dignity and freedom.”

ACTA’s Hero of Intellectual Freedom honors those in higher education who stand up to the mob to protect the diversity of viewpoints and stand against the culture war, the seeds of which were sown on college campuses decades ago. On June 15, 2022, ACTA honored Jodi at The Bitter End, New York City’s oldest rock club. She graced us with this inspiring speech and exceptional musical performance fit for a stage that has held many icons before her.

To learn more about Jodi’s fight, visit her website here.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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