Commencement Speaker

Commencement Speaker

Melissa Harris-PerryAward-winning author and noted scholar Melissa Harris-Perry will be the speaker at Winston-Salem State University’s 2016 commencement ceremony, scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Friday, May 13.

Harris-Perry, the author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, and Sister Citizen: Shame, is the Maya Angelou Chair at Wake Forest University. There she is the executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. The Center supports, generates, and communicates innovative research at the intersection of gender, race, and place, and works to advance equity through teaching, research, and community engagement.

“Having an individual of Melissa Harris-Perry’s caliber as our commencement speaker is a great honor,” said Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “As a scholar and a leader, Dr. Harris-Perry has been a tremendous voice actively working to address issues of inequity and racism. I know her message will be thought-provoking and inspiring for our graduates as they prepare to leave WSSU and begin the next chapters of their lives.”

Harris-Perry received her B.A. degree in English from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. She also 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. She is the former host of Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000



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