with Donna Smith, JD

Compassion & Choices will host a week of events to highlight the passing of the Death with Dignity Act

DC Week of Compassion

Tuesday, February 18th – Smith Center Presentation and Discussion

Donna Smith, JD, will present her passionate work with Compassion and Choices DC to Smith Center participants. Donna’s talk will focus on options for end-of-life journey options. Food and drink will be provided and all are welcome!

Other Off-Site DC Week of Compassion Events:
Thursday, February 20th –  Busboys and Poets forum
Sunday, February 23rd – Compassion Sunday- We are asking faith leaders to take a moment and honor all those who have passed within their congregation.


Compassion & Choices improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their end-of-life journey. We envision a society that affirms life and accepts the inevitability of death, embraces expanded options for compassionate dying, and empowers everyone to choose end-of-life care that reflects their values, priorities, and beliefs. Their programs include: End-of-life Planning, Community Outreach, Legal and Political Advocacy, and Access Campaigns


About Donna Smith, JD

Donna Smith is an accomplished professional with over twenty years of experience in political consulting, legislative advocacy, public affairs, policy and program management.

Donna was the Chief of Policy and Community Programs for eight years at the Maryland Department of Aging. She led a team of program managers that implemented aging statewide programs for the aging and their caregivers.  She was also detailed to work on the White House Conference on Aging in as a public relations specialist.

In 2014 she was a political consultant to the Donna Edwards Senatorial campaign where she focused on organizing women and seniors.

Donna has been employed by Compassion and Choices (C&C) for 4 years.  She is the National African American Director and the Director of Political advocacy for DC and Maryland.  In this capacity she led the campaign to pass end of Death with Dignity legislation in both the District of Columbia (the legislation passed in Feb. 2017) and Maryland, where she organized and engaged over 17,000 volunteers to help pass legislation and acted as a spokesperson on behalf of C&C.

A graduate of Tuskegee University and George Washington Law School, she has one son and resides in Laurel, Md.

with artist Leigh Davis


Join us for a conversation and discussion with artist Leigh Davis focusing on ELEs (end-of-life experiences). ELEs are unusual experiences that typically occur around the time of a death and are experienced by a person who is dying or who has lost a loved one. These experiences can be interpreted as premonitions, deathbed visions, golden light, changes in the temperature or atmosphere, terminal lucidity, or eerie coincidences. The talk invites the audience to participate and speculate about the boundaries between the physical world, the emotional world, and what may exist beyond.


About Leigh Davis

I create multimedia work that is both deeply personal and anthropologically rich, navigating the complex line between voyeurism and empathy. In recent years, projects have taken the form of shrines, altars, and collections of various objects and images that work together to form a cohesive and immersive installation. To house these works, I have been drawn to sites that present their own spirituality or sense of community, using this intrinsic human quality to complement the stories represented in the installations. My overall work is designed to foster connection between viewers and community members, encouraging conversation about the aspects of humanity that keep us apart and bring us together. Currently, I am working on a body of work about the modern rituals surrounding death and the remnants of the life left behind. Vigil, my recent site-based audio installation, stems from my membership with a community of women continuing the tradition of bedside singing to the dying. This project was created for the historic chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery 10/17. I teach courses at Parsons the New School for Design and work between Brooklyn NY and Washington DC.