Melissa Harris-Perry, author, professor and activist, to talk at MNSU

Katie Leibel

Staff Writer

Minnesota State University, Mankato is welcoming journalist, author, scholar, and activist Melissa Harris-Perry to campus on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Harris-Perry is a famous, thought-provoking speaker and is well-known in many communities. She is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University. There, she is the faculty director of the Pro Humanitate Institute where she founded and became the director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center.

Harris-Perry has received a B.A. degree in English from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. She also studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York, making her a well-informed speaker on these hard topics. Harris-Perry has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and Tulane University.

Harris-Perry has also been awarded honorary degrees from multiple universities including: Meadville Lombard Theological School, Winston-Salem State University, Eckerd College, and New York University.
Harris-Perry is known for the 2012-2016 “Melissa Harris-Perry” television show on MSNBC as well as her time being the “Editor-at-Large” for from 2016-2017. She has also written several books on political and theological ideologies and their impact.

Because of her accomplishments and qualifications, Harris-Perry was asked to speak at the 13th annual Carol Ortman Perkins Lectureship, which is a co-sponsorship between the Women’s Center and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. This lectureship was created to try to bring more feminist scholars and activists to campus every year to talk with the community, and was created to commemorate Dr. Perkins’ retirement after being the chair of Gender and Women’s Studies for over ten years.

Dr. Perkins’s commitment to gender equity helped make the department the safe and accepting place that it has become today. This lectureship fulfills and promotes the Women’s Center’s, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies’ and Dr. Perkins’s mission to promote feminist scholarship and activism and to encourage the exchange of ideas on campus.

As the speaker for the 13th annual lectureship, Harris-Perry has the honor of stepping into a role filled by predecessors such as Lilly Ledbetter, Gloria Steinem, Wilma Mankiller, Laverne Cox, Anita Sarkeesian, and many others who have all lectured before her.

The assistant director of the MNSU Women’s Center, Renée Mitchell-Matsuyama, voiced that she was excited to have Harris-Perry speak.

“One of the things I think is really great about her is that she does a lot of really in-depth research and critical academic writing and thinking, but presents things in such understandable ways,” said Mitchell-Matsuyama.

Mitchell-Matsuyama has worked for about two years to bring Harris-Perry to MNSU and encourages everybody to come to the event.

“If you already know who she is, you are probably already planning on coming, and if you haven’t, look up a video of her talking, and you will know how exciting it is to hear her speak,” she said.

For more information about this event, other Minnesota State Mankato Women’s Center events or to inquire about tickets, visit or visit the Women’s Center’s Facebook page. Tickets are available for free for the Melissa Harris-Perry event at the Women’s Center in CSU 218.

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