Orange is the New Black Actress Laverne Cox Gives Free Public Lecture

Jones Auditorium - 02/07/17 - 02/07/17

Contact: Jason Marton or

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox, Emmy-nominated actress from the acclaimed Netflix series Orange is the New Black and an Emmy-winning producer, will speak at Texas A&M University-Kingsville as part of the University Lectureship Series. 

Cox will deliver the presentation, “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood,” in Jones Auditorium Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 7 p.m. 

Her talk will explore how the intersections of race, class, and gender uniquely affect the lives of trans women of color. Cox draws from her own personal narrative to share how she has been able to navigate the world and all its challenges. From growing up in Mobile, Alabama, raised by a single mother in a Christian family, to attending college in New York City to pursue a career as an actress, to finally finding the courage to step into the womanhood she always knew at heart was her destiny, Cox tells the story of the unique challenges along her journey to womanhood, professional achievement, self-acceptance, and love. 

The public is invited to attend this free event. 

Doors are scheduled to open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. 

About Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox plays the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset in the Netflix original series Orange is The New Black. She is expanding her presence on the small screen with the CBS pilot Doubt, a legal drama from Grey’s Anatomy producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan. She will play Cameron Wirth, a trans Ivy League-educated lawyer who’s both competitive and compassionate.  

Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. 

Her work as an actress and advocate landed her on the cover of TIME Magazine as well as an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.” Cox continues to break boundaries and make history with accolades, including a SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series,” a Critic’s Choice nomination for “Best Supporting Actress” and a NAACP Image Awards nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.” 

Her documentary, Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word aired on MTV & Logo to impressive ratings. The hour-long documentary explored the lives seven transgender youth from across the country and their determination to lead their lives as the people they are meant to be. Laverne was the host and executive producer of the groundbreaking documentary, which won a Daytime Emmy Award and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. She also voiced the Lady Chablis in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for METABOOK. 

Cox is also producing another documentary titled Free CeCe in order to heighten visibility and awareness surrounding CeCe McDonald, a transgender woman who was controversially sentenced to 41 months in prison for second degree manslaughter after allegedly defending herself against a racist and transphobic attack. 

In 2013, Cox won Best Supporting Actress at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for her work in the critically acclaimed film Musical Chairs, directed by Susan Seidelman.   

Cox is the first trans woman of color to produce and star in her own television show, VH1’s TRANSForm Me, which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.  She is also the first trans woman of color to appear on an American reality television program, VH1’s I Wanna Work for Diddy, for which she accepted the GLAAD media award for “Outstanding Reality Program.” She also received The Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. 

In addition to her acting, Cox is a renowned speaker and has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country.   Her work as an advocate landed her a coveted spot as one of Glamour magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year. She is the recipient of the Dorian Rising Star Award for her work in Orange is the New Black, the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, The Community Leader Award from the LGBT Center of New York City, received the Reader's Choice Award from Out Magazine, was named one of The Grio's 100 Most Influential African Americans, was named one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post, one of Out Magazines Out 100, made the Ebony Power 100 and was ranked number 5 on the 2014 Root 100 list. 

About the University Lectureship Series

The University Lectureship Series at Texas A&M University-Kingsville is a student-supported program that invites guest lecturers to present relevant or entertaining topics both to the university and Kingsville communities. Known nationally or regionally for their expertise, invited speakers will educate, inform and engage students, and help them to make meaning of theories they are learning in their classrooms. 

For more information about the A&M-Kingsville University Lectureship Series, contact the Office of Student Activities at 361-593-2760.