Venus Williams to speak at UA April 12

Courtesy photo

One of the most decorated athletes of our generation will appear at the University of Arkansas in April.

Tennis star, equality advocate, Olympic gold medalist, and seven-time Grand Slam title winner Venus Williams will participate in a moderated Q&A with former broadcaster Danyelle Musselman at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday, April 12, university officials announced this week.

From her bio:

With seven Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledon championships and four Olympic gold medals, tennis champion Venus Williams is arguably one of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports. Not only a force on the court, Williams parlayed her fine-tuned business acumen with her healthy competitive spirit into two successful design ventures: V Starr, a full-service commercial and residential design firm, and fashion-forward lifestyle and activewear brand, EleVen by Venus Williams. Most recently, Venus served as an Executive Producer on the Warner Brothers Oscar-winning biopic King Richard, which detailed the influence her father and coach, Richard Williams, had on her as she became a tennis icon and changed the sport for generations to come.

Throughout her career, Williams has been a steadfast advocate for equality. In 2006, UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural organization, titled her as the first “Promoter of Gender Equality.’ In 2007 it was her unwavering fight which led Wimbledon to award women players the same pay as their male counterparts and most recently in 2021, she launched an awareness initiative called the #PrivilegeTax in conjunction with EleVen to bring attention to the wage inequality and unveiled a platform of resources for individuals to get inspired and address the issue on a grassroots level.

Williams’ appearance is sponsored by the Distinguished Lectures Committee through the Office of Student Activities, and free to attend and open to the public.

Past Distinguished Lecture Series speakers include Tan France, Ezra Klein, Tarana Burke, Laura Bush, Laverne Cox, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shirin Ebadi, W. Kamau Bell, Scott and Mark Kelly Abby Wambach, Maya Angelou, Condoleezza Rice, John Legend, and others.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the Q&A will begin at around 7 p.m.

For more info, contact the Office of Student Activities, [email protected] or call 479-575-5255.