Award-winning author to speak at WKU

Samantha Wright

Award-winning author and TV-show host Melissa Harris-Perry will speak at WKU in just a few days.

 As part of the Cultural Enhancement Series, Harris-Perry’s lecture is titled “We Can’t Breathe: The Very Real Consequences of Structural Inequality.”

Her lecture will be Thursday, Feb. 5th, at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall.

One of the goals of the CES is to host a diversity of speakers with many different ideas to make them as accessible as possible to students.

A committee, made up of members of the university faculty, brought ideas and issues to the meetings they wanted the CES to address. David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, said Harris-Perry’s name came up very early during the CES committee’s meetings. 

“A lot of her work focuses on intersection of gender and race and politics, and those are all pretty timely topics,” he said. “I think she has important things to say about important matters.”

Saundra Ardrey, department head for political science, said it’s important to have different voices who can share their different viewpoints. She also said Harris-Perry has credibility on a lot of issues for the African-American community, as well as others, due to the many and varied subjects she specializes in. 

“She captures the imagination of many folks who are disenfranchised,” she said.

Ardrey said the appearance of Harris-Perry holds personal significance, because they are both part of the handful of African-American women with a doctorate in political science. She said the appearance will share current events and issues with a larger community.

The “Melissa Harris-Perry” show airs on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on MSNBC. Her most recent books are “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.” She currently holds professorship at her alma mater, Wake Forest University. She is also the founding director for the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race and Politics in the South, which focuses on research and programs related to gender, race, and politics in the South. 

This event is open to the public. Free tickets are available by calling 1-270-745-3121.