‘Orange is the New Black’ star Laverne Cox to speak at Fayetteville Town Center Oct. 3

Event poster / Courtesy

One of the stars of the popular Netflix series Orange is the New Black will speak in Fayetteville next month.

Civil rights advocate, producer, and Emmy-award winning actor Laverne Cox, who stars as Sophie Burset in OITNB, will deliver a talk titled Ain’t I A Woman: My Journey to Womannhood at the Fayetteville Town Center at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Cox was the first openly transgender person to ever be nominated for an Emmy Awards, and she took home the award for her portrayal of Burset in 2014 and in 2017. She also appeared on Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, I Want to Work for Diddy, TRANSform Me, The Mindy Project, and other television shows.

She has been an outspoken advocate for trans-rights.

From the UA’s announcement of Cox’s upcoming appearance:

Since her breakout role, she continues to work as a trans-rights advocate through her writing, acting and producing. She hosts a column on The Huffington Post where she published an acclaimed essay on gender expression and oppression, among other articles. Cox is also the executive producer behind the documentaries The T Word (2014), which follows the lives of several trans youth, and Free CeCe!(2016), which tells the plight of an imprisoned trans woman. The Emmy she won for The T Word made her the first transgender woman to win for an executive producer role.

The appearance is sponsored by the UA’s Distinguished Lecture Series, a student-sponsored series that brings speakers on a variety of topics to campus each year. Past speakers include American soccer icon Abby Wambach, Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton, Apollo 13 Astronauts James Lovell and Fred Haise, scientist Bill Nye, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and others.

In addition, the UA’s School of Law will host a screening of the documentary Free CeCe!, followed by a panel discussion, and reception at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. The panel will be moderated by UA assistant professor of English Jo Hsu, and will include LGBTQ activist and the film’s subject CeCe McDonald, representative of Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and Intransitive Diego Barrera, University of Arkansas assistant professor of law Jordan Blair Woods and trans activist and community leader for transgender rights Miss Major Griffin-Gracy.

Both events are free to attend and open to the public, though tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved at osa.uark.edu.