An advocate with an empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically, Laverne Cox, Emmy-nominated actress, documentary film producer, and prominent equal rights advocate, is scheduled to speak at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum on December 4, 2015.
Debuting in the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black,” Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role in a mainstream scripted television show.
Her work as an advocate earned her a coveted spot as one of Glamour magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year. She is also the recipient of the Dorian Rising Star Award for her work in “Orange is the New Black,” the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, the Community Leader Award from the LGBT Center of New York City, the Reader's Choice Award from "Out" Magazine. Cox has also been named one of The Grio's 100 Most Influential African Americans, one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post, and honored with the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, and the Reader's Choice Award from "Out" Magazine, among other accolades.
CMCers of Color had compiled a list of speaker recommendations for the Athenaeum as a part of their initiative to make CMC’s campus more inclusive and supportive of students of color.
According to group spokespersons Denys Reyes ’16, Lisette Espinosa ’15, Jincy Varughese ’16, and Edgar Morales ’16, “… a black transgender actress, writer, producer, and public speaker, Laverne Cox not only gives visibility to the communities she represents but is also an advocate for those communities. She was one of our top speaker choices because of the multiplicity of identities and experiences that she speaks to and we hope her visit will continue the dialogue on race, gender, and identity on campus.”
Priya Junnar, director of the Athenaeum, adds, “Students have ideas for speakers that relate to their needs, and it’s important to hear those voices. It is particularly gratifying in this case to have partnered with other groups on campus such as the President’s Office, the PSR committee, and the Dean of Students to bring Ms. Cox to campus.”
A voice driving transgender awareness and equality, Cox’s message resonates with audiences to drive positive change on a global scale.
For more information about Ms. Cox’s presentation, please visit the Athenaeum website.