Nikole Hannah-Jones, John Leguizamo among 2021-2022 GRCC Diversity Lecture Series, Latino Heritage Month speakers

Nikole Hannah-Jones, John Leguizamo, Austin Channing Brown, and LaTosha Brown.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones and Emmy Award-winner John Leguizamo are among the speakers highlighting Grand Rapids Community College’s 2021-2022 Diversity Lecture Series and Latino Heritage Month.

The Diversity Lecture Series provides students, employees and community members access to scholars, thought-leaders, activists, and artists and is presented by the GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“Our overarching goal for the year ahead is cultivating equity through an intersectional framework,” said Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s chief equity and inclusion officer. “We are adopting intersectionality from the work of professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, who describes intersectionality as an understanding of how race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, physical appearance, height, and other individual characteristics ‘intersect’ with one another and overlap.”

This year’s kickoff of the Diversity Lecture Series will highlight a new initiative called Interfaith Literacy.

Keynote speaker Austin Channing Brown will lead a discussion about standing in the shadow of hope. In this context, the word “shadow” is a metaphor for patience and grace.

Brown is a speaker, writer and media producer providing inspired leadership on justice in America. She is the author of “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness.” Her workshops and lectures are incisive, fun, disarming and transformative. By using an intentional mix of humor, pop-culture, story-telling, and audience engagement, she evokes thought, feeling and action as she celebrates the possibility of justice in our organizations and communities. 

The event is planned for 6 p.m. Sept. 7.

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