Three-time Emmy nominated actress, Emmy winning documentary film producer and prominent equal rights advocate Laverne Cox gave the keynote address for this year’s semi-annual It’s On Us week of action at Michigan State University.
As a part of efforts to raise awareness and change the culture around sexual violence, MSU’s It’s On Us mirrors the national initiative's charge to stand up for and with survivors of sexual assault, and taking accountability and action to end sexual violence.
“This year is especially important because the events we chose were thoughtfully put together to heighten voices of those who are often forgotten from the narrative,” said Leah Short, prevention specialist with the Prevention, Outreach and Education Department. “When we think of survivors, it is critical to include and elevate the voices of women of color and other marginalized groups.”
Cox’s speech, titled “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood,” explored how the intersections of race, class and gender uniquely affect the lives of trans women of color through her own personal experience.
"I believe it's important to name the different intersections of my identity because I am not just one thing, and neither are you,” said Cox. "I believe it's important."
It's On Us week included:
- Kickoff Event, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 14 at the field in front of Wells Hall
- The Art of Surviving, 7 p.m. – close, Monday, Oct. 14 at the Blue Owl, East Lansing
- 'Ain't I A Woman: My Journey to Womanhood' with Laverne Cox, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15 at MSU’s Business College Complex, room N130
- Activism Through Art, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the MSU Art Lab
- Music and Healing: Finding Our Voice, 5 – 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17 at the MSU Museum
- Teal Out – wear teal in support of survivors of sexual assault on Friday, Oct. 18
- Sponsors and partners of this year’s It’s On Us events include Prevention, Outreach and Education Department, MSU Residence Hall Association, Associated Students of MSU, MSU Youth Programs, MSU Recreational Sports, Office of the Ombudsperson, Center for Gender in Global Context, MSU Athletics, Residential and Hospitality Services, University Activities Board, Research Consortium of Gender Based Violence, Women of Color Initiative, Council of Graduate Students, Association of Black Social Work Students, MSU Museum, MSU Center for Survivors, MSU Art Lab, Women Student Services, MSU Police Department, LBGT Resource Center, and Fraternity and Sorority Life.
For more information visit the Facebook event page