“Orange is the New Black” Star Headlines Pride Week at the U

Theme focuses on equality beyond marriage

Sept. 30, 2014 – The University of Utah celebrates its annual Pride Week Oct. 2-11 with the theme “Imagine U: Beyond Marriage, Moving Forward.”

Actress Laverne Cox, who currently appears in the Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black,” will give the week’s keynote address on Friday, Oct. 10, 6-7 p.m. in the University of Utah Union Ballroom, 200 S. Central Campus Drive. Tickets are available at the Union front desk for $10; students can receive two tickets for free.

Cox’s speech, “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood,” will draw from personal experiences to explore how the intersections of race, class and gender affect the lives of transgender women of color.

Cox’s character in “Orange is the New Black,” Sophia Burset, is an incarcerated African American transgender woman. She is the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream television show. TIME named Burset the fourth most influential fictional character of 2013. Cox has shared her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically across the country. Her insights have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NPR, VH1 and more.

In addition to the keynote, the U will sponsor a week of activities designed to recognize and support the LGBTQ community. Some events are listed below. For a full schedule of events click here.

Art Exhibit by Toni Smith: Love and 1,138 Other Reasons to Marry
Oct. 6-10, 7a.m. – 11 p.m.
Olpin Union Building, Corridor, 200 S. Central Campus Drive
Toni Smith, a local fine art photographer, whose work focuses on subjects such as sexual orientation, disability, domestic and child abuse, sexual assault, menstruation and gender, believes that shining light onto these topics demon

Media Contacts For This Story

communications director, Office for Equity and Diversity
Office Phone: 801-587-3342
Cell Phone: 801-309-9648
Email address: n.chand@utah.edu
communications specialist, University Communications, University of Utah
Office Phone: 801-581-7295
Cell Phone: 435-232-0312