NCCU will welcome transgender advocate and actress Laverne Cox to B.N. Duke Auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, to kick off the 2015-2016 Lyceum Series.
Cox stars in the Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black” as the groundbreaking character Sophia Burset, an incarcerated African-American transgender woman.
Cox is the first transgender actress to have been featured on the cover of TIME magazine and the first to nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. She was nominated as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Orange is the New Black.” She was also selected as Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015. The Huffington Post also named Cox one of the country’s Top 50 Transgender Icons.
Her role on the popular Netflix series has given Cox a platform from which to speak and write about issues facing transgendered people. Cox was honored by GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in 2014 for her work as an advocate on behalf of trans women and men.
Earlier in her career, Cox was a contestant on the first season of VH1’s “I Want to Work for Diddy” and starred in and produced the VH1 television series “TRANSform Me.” In 2011, she won Best Supporting Actress at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for her performance in the much-praised film “Musical Chairs.” Cox’s other acting credits include “Law and Order” and “Law and Order: SVU,” “Bored to Death” on HBO, as well as independent films “Carla” and “The Exhibitionists.” She has upcoming roles in films “36 Saints” and “Grand Street.”
Laverne Cox was born in 1981 in Mobile, Ala., and has a twin brother, M. Lamar, a musician and performer in New York. Cox holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Marymount Manhattan College.
The NCCU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally (LGBTA) Resource Center was established in 2013, the first for any HBCU in North Carolina and the second in the country. The LGBTA Student Resource Center on campus houses a wealth of information, resources and programming, as well as provides direct services to students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members.
The university’s annual Lyceum Series brings to campus thought-leaders, performers and academicians to support the intellectual climate and enhance student growth and development. Lyceum Series appearances continue throughout the year and are free and open to the public.
Future appearances include a three-day visit by the Dayton Contemporary Dance Co., which will be on campus Nov. 2-Nov. 4 offering master class dance instruction and a public performance at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 in B.N. Duke Auditorium.