Laverne Cox, best known for her role as Sophia Burset in the Netflix Original Series “Orange is the New Black (OITNB)” will speak at the University of Miami Thursday as part of Unity Round Table’s Diversity Week Celebration. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Activity Center ballrooms and is free to students.
Cox, an openly transgender woman, made headlines recently when she appeared on the cover of Time magazine. She also became the first openly transgender individual to be nominated for an Emmy for her role in OITNB.
“Laverne Cox has become one of the most recognizable faces for trans issues, which is so valuable for the transgender community,” said Jacob Rudolph, president of UPRIDE, one of the several organizations partnering with Unity Round Table to produce this event. “The fact that she has what can be considered a trifecta of marginalizing characteristics: minority race, female gender and she is trans and still is able to be successful is empowering.”
According to the vice chair of Unity Round Table, Imani Callan, “Diversity Week is about celebrating diversity in every sense of the word. [Laverne Cox] is all about advocating about diversity, inclusion, and LGBTQ issues so we are really glad to have her come and speak.”
Unity Round Table is a part of the office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA). According to the MSA website, it was created to bring student leaders of MSA organizations together to discuss cultural issues. Unity Round Table is comprised of a group of individual students as well as 20 student organizations at the University of Miami.
The event is sponsored by several university offices and student organizations, including Multicultural Student Affairs, Unity Round Table, UPRIDE, the Butler Center of Service and Leadership, Hurricane Productions, Housing and Residential Life, United Black Students (UBS), the Department of Women and Gender Studies, and the Vice President of Student Affairs. .
“The fact that that we have the support of offices like the Vice President of Student Affairs is unreal,” Rudolph said. “It’s so validating and encouraging to have people behind you who are willing to help you achieve your goals.”
Diversity Week kicked off Monday. Programs will continue to be held throughout the rest of the week focusing on several aspects diversity including religion, race, and gender.
“The premise of our office is to represent diversity and [Laverne Cox] represents a part of diversity that is a big part of our university community,” said MSA Director Renee Dickens Callan. “My hope is that all students leave this lecture entertained, inspired and educated.”
For more information about this event, contact the office of Multicultural Student Affairs at (305) 284-2855 or visit their website www.miami.edu/msa.
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