Award-winning poet, activist to give annual OUTspoken lecture

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Internationally renowned performance poet and LGBT activist Staceyann Chin will share her thoughts on the impacts of intersectional identity and address topics of race, gender, sexuality, family, community and activism at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Cone University Center, McKnight Hall.

Well-known for her role as co-writer and performer of the Tony-nominated “Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway,” Chin is the featured speaker for the 2012 OUTspoken lecture series. This annual event was created to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues, and it aims to positively influence the campus climate to make it a more accepting and affirming place for LGBTQ students, faculty, staff and community members.

Chin’s Jamaican nationality works in tandem with her Chinese-American descent and her lesbianism to inform her creative and political work as an antiracist and antisexist. Her one-woman shows “Hands Afire,” “Unspeakable Things” and “Border Clash” all received rave reviews during their runs in New York City.

Chin is now the poet-in-residence at Culture Project in the East Village, an off-Broadway theater where each of her shows debuted.

“One of the things Staceyann brings out is a sense of complicated intersections between gender and race and sexuality,” said Kent Brintnall, associate professor of religious studies and UNC Charlotte faculty representative for OUTspoken.

Brintnall noted Chin’s acclaim as a poet and playwright represents a significant shift for OUTspoken. “In the past, the series has focused on people who are primarily known as political activists or academics. It’s exciting to have an artist as our featured speaker. It reminds us that art has political and intellectual importance, and it shows all the dimensions of what the liberal arts have to offer—it gives us another way of looking at the world.”

The Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund, the Alliance for Full Acceptance, the Wesley Mancini Foundation, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Multicultural Resource Center, the Counseling Center, PRIDE, the Center for Graduate Life, the Women’s Summit, the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics and The TownePlace Suites Marriott is cosponsoring this sixth annual OUTspoken lecture series.