Equity & Difference: Rights
- Celebrated and Award-Winning Transgender Actress, Producer & Equal Rights Advocate
April 12, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.
Location to be determined
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If you are experiencing a financial hardship to access this lecture, please contact the UW Alumni Association at 206.543.0540.
Ain’t I a Woman?
About Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox is an Emmy-nominated actress and Emmy-winning producer best known for her work on the critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black” where she plays the ground breaking role of Sophia Burset. Laverne is the first Trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show.
Laverne has recently expanded her TV presence with two diverse and groundbreaking roles. Laverne took on the iconic role of ‘Dr. Frank-N-Furter’ in the Fox remake of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The two-hour TV event premiered in the Fall of 2016 and was directed, choreographed and executive produced by Kenny Ortega, with other executive producers including Lou Adler and Gail Berman. She currently stars on “Doubt,” a CBS legal drama from “Grey’s Anatomy” producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan. Laverne plays ‘Cameron Wirth’, a Trans Ivy League-educated lawyer who’s both competitive and compassionate. “Doubt” is the first broadcast series featuring a transgender series regular character played by a transgender actor.
Laverne’s work as an actress and advocate landed her on the cover of TIME Magazine as well as an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.” Laverne continues to break boundaries and make history with accolades including back to back SAG Awards for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series,” a Critic’s Choice nomination for “Best Supporting Actress,” and consecutive NAACP Image Award nominations for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.”
This past year, Laverne had several stand out performances in both film and television. On the silver screen, Laverne was recently seen as ‘Deathy,’ a supporting role in the Lily Tomlin film “Grandma” from acclaimed writer and director Paul Weitz. Laverne appeared as a guest star on several TV shows including; the hit Fox comedy “The Mindy Project,” Bravo’s “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce” and MTV’s “Faking It.” She also hosted #GoBold brought to you by Revlon, an empowering web series that celebrates bold, provocative women setting out to accomplish their goals.
Laverne’s documentary “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word” aired October 2014 on MTV & Logo to impressive ratings. The hour-long documentary explored the lives seven transgender youth from across the country and their determination to lead their lives as the people they are meant to be. Laverne was the host and executive producer of the ground breaking documentary which won a Daytime Emmy Award and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.
Laverne is also producing another documentary titled “Free CeCe” in order to heighten visibility and awareness surrounding CeCe McDonald, a transgender woman who was controversially sentenced to 41 months in prison for second degree manslaughter after allegedly defending herself against a racist and transphobic attack. The documentary will focus on McDonald’s case, her experiences while incarcerated in a men’s prison and the larger implications of her case for the transgender community.
In 2013 Laverne won Best Supporting Actress at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for her work in the critically acclaimed film “Musical Chairs” directed by Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan). Laverne’s other acting credits include “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Bored to Death,” and the independent films “Carla” and “The Exhibitionists.” She also voiced the Lady Chablis in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for METABOOK.
Laverne is the first trans woman of color to produce and star in her own television show, VH1’s “TRANSForm Me” which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. Laverne is also the first trans woman of color to appear on an American reality television program, VH1’s “I Wanna Work for Diddy” for which she accepted the GLAAD media award for “Outstanding Reality Program.” She also received The Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.
In addition to her acting, Laverne is a renowned speaker and has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country. Her work as an advocate landed her a coveted spot as one of Glamour magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year. She is the recipient of the Dorian Rising Star Award for her work in “Orange is the New Black,” the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, The Community Leader Award from the LGBT Center of New York City, received the Reader’s Choice Award from “Out” Magazine, was named one of The Grio’s 100 Most Influential African Americans, was named one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post, one of Out magazine’s Out 100, made the Ebony Power 100 and was ranked number 5 on the 2014 Root 100 list.
- UW Graduate School
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