Barbara Smith has been politically active in many movements for social justice since the 1960s. She served two terms on the Albany Common Council representing Arbor Hill and North Albany from 2006 to 2013. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Barbara has been a resident of Albany since 1984. As a member of the council Barbara focused upon addressing violence and increasing educational opportunity for youth and families, especially in economically challenged neighborhoods. She has taught English, African American literature, Black Women Writers, and Black Women’s Studies at a number of colleges and universities since the early 1970s, most recently at the College of Saint Rose. Since 2010, she has been a Public Service Professor at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare. In 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.