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CCU to welcome Harris-Perry for MLK Day celebration keynote presentation

January 14, 2022
Melissa Harris-Perry, Ph.D., will deliver CCU's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration keynote address on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium.

Melissa Harris-Perry, Ph.D., noted scholar, television host, political commentator, and public intellectual, will deliver Coastal Carolina University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration keynote address on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. Harris-Perry, the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in the Department of Politics and International Affairs, the Department of Women and Gender Studies, and the Program in Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest University, will present, “Finding Friends, Creating Coalition, and Stitching Strategy: Organizing Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The ticketed event is free and open to the public. Tickets may be reserved in person at the Wheelwright Box Office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or online. This event is endorsed by CCU’s Presidential Signature Series and supported by the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Finance and Administration; Office of the President; Student Life; and Student Government Association. The event is made possible by a grant from the South Carolina Humanities.

“One of the nation’s foremost public intellectuals, Dr. Harris-Perry contributes a clear and distinctive voice to the national discourse,” said Atiya Kai Stokes-Brown, Ph.D., CCU’s vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Unapologetically feminist and committed to inclusion and liberation, Dr. Harris-Perry elevates and celebrates the stories of people who too often are left out of the public discourse and challenges us to unlearn what we have learned about politics, economic, inequality, and culture. We are deeply honored to host her at CCU and eagerly anticipate that her presentation will ignite the rich and full dialogues that are already happening on our campus.”

Harris-Perry teaches course on American politics and elections at the intersections of race, place, and gender. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Chicago Tribune, among many other print and digital outlets.

“We are so excited to have Dr. Harris-Perry share her expertise with our community,” said Joshua Moore, director of intercultural and inclusion student services at CCU. “As a scholar activist, we are excited to hear from her and the ways in which she has engaged in this work. I believe her presentation will aide in a deeper understanding of coalition building and civility.”

She is the host and managing editor of The Takeaway, a daily news and information program produced by WNYC Studios and broadcast on more than 300 public radio stations across the country. She is also the founder and president of the Anna Julia Cooper Center, whose mission is to create programming, content, and research that drives scholarship and action. She previously hosted the show Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC from 2012-16.

Harris-Perry earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. She studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Harris-Perry previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and Tulane University. Harris-Perry has been awarded honorary degrees from many universities, including Meadville Lombard Theological School, Winston-Salem State University, Eckerd College, New York University, and Ithaca College.