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Writer, Professor, TV Host Melissa Harris-Perry Will Discuss Equity during Virtual Presentation April 24
American writer, professor and television host Melissa Harris-Perry will discuss her reflections on equity, especially during this time of a global pandemic, during a virtual presentation with the campus community on Friday, April 24, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, where she teaches courses on American politics and elections at the intersections of race, place and gender.
Sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Community Engagement, this virtual event will include an hour discussion and 30 minutes of Q&A. Any campus community member with an active @syr.edu account can participate. Those interested in participating are asked to register.
Whether in the midst of a health crisis such as COVID-19 or not, equity eludes many in the global community and has become a focal point of social justice efforts. Perry will provide her perspective as to why equity is so critically important in all our endeavors.
“We all have been impacted in some form by the multiple effects of COVID-19. However, some of our campus populations are being impacted disproportionately,” says Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith Alford. “Focusing a lens on equity and taking appropriate actions must be foremost in our work every day, and especially during these unprecedented times. As we close out the semester, Professor Harris-Perry will help us contemplate where we are as a society and how we can improve.”
For nearly two decades, Harris-Perry has contributed to American public life through her distinct combination of scholarly analysis and ordinary wisdom applied to the analysis of race, gender, politics and power. At Wake Forest University she served as founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center and founded the innovative bipartisan program, Wake the Vote. Along with her teaching, she currently serves as editor-at-large for ZORA, a Medium publication for women of color. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and many other print and digital venues.
She hosted the award-winning television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings on MSNBC and, in 2016, won the Hillman Prize for broadcast journalism. She is the author of the award-winning “Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought” and “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.”
Joshua E. Reid ’21 is looking forward to Harris-Perry’s presentation.
“I truly believe that Dr. Harris-Perry’s voice and knowledge will deepen our University’s compassion,” says Reid, an active-duty soldier in the U.S. Army and a student in the cybersecurity administration program. “She will open our students’ and faculty and staff member’s eyes to the value of equity in this very moment. Her experiences will help us develop a map to see the ‘game’ equally.”
The entire campus community is encouraged to attend the virtual event with Harris-Perry, says Craig Tucker, now director of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program and co-chair of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion.
“Those of us in of higher education and in general must concern ourselves with issues centered around equity. These conversations must happen and continue even in times when we find ourselves socially isolated and distracted by the uncertainty of pandemic global events,” says Tucker. “We have an obligation to keep equity in the forefront as we strive to advance the genuineness of humanity. This needs to start and continue with honest and healthy discussions. We must be leaders in this effort.”
Paula Possenti-Perez, director of the Office of Disability Services and co-chair of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion, agrees that this is a crucial time for the work of equity and inclusion.
“Amid the uncertainties of COVID-19 we must resist the idea that while we are all in this together, everyone does not experience this pandemic the same,” says Possenti-Perez. “Communities of color, the disabled, our elders and, of course, the essential workers on the front lines often risk more, endure more and, ultimately, lose more. Stay informed, join the conversation and continue doing the work.”
The session will include live captioning.
More information can be found on the calendar listing.