Transgender and civil rights advocates to speak on campus

Transgender and civil rights advocates to speak on campus

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Photo by: Emily Sharp | Editor-in-Chief

Activists Angela Davis and Janet Mock will visit Texas State this spring to speak to students.

The announcements came from Black Lives Movement: San Marcos on Jan. 9. The organization’s tweet informing students of Angela Davis’ visit gained more than 200 retweets and over 300 likes.

“Dr. Angela Davis will make a monumental campus visit to Texas State University on March 31, 2017,” the tweet reads. The organization added that her speaking on campus would be a “phenomenal experience for all to be a part of.”Dr. Angela Davis is a civil rights activist and author, according to biography.com. She was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where she faced racial prejudice and discrimination.

As a teenager, she coordinated interracial study groups that were often broken up by police officers.

However, Davis is best known for her association with the Black Panthers and Brandeis University’s all-black branch of the Communist Party in the late 1960s.

Davis was offered a teaching job at the University of California, Los Angeles, but got fired due to her involvement with communism. However, she fought the university in court and began teaching at UCLA again.

She is now a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has also written “Women, Race and Class,” along with “Are Prisons Obsolete?”

On Jan. 9, BLMSM also announced Janet Mock would also be visiting campus in the spring.

“American writer, TV host and transgender rights activist ‪@janetmock will make a monumental visit to Texas State University April 5, 2017,” the organization’s tweet reads.

Janet Mock is a writer, TV host and advocate who has worked for Entertainment Tonight, Marie Claire magazine, MSNBC and more, according to her website.

Born in Hawaii, Mock has become a successful writer. Memoir “Redefining Realness” was a New York Times bestseller. In addition, she founded social media project #GirlsLikeUs, which aims to empower transgender women. Mock also produced “The Trans List,” an HBO documentary.

In 2011, Mock published a Marie Claire article about her experiences growing up as a trans woman. Since her story gained national attention, TIME named her “one of twelve new faces of black leadership” and “one of the most influential people on the Internet.”

Event coordinators have not yet released details, times or additional information about the speakers’ visits. However, some students are already marking their calendars.

Miriam Martin, agriculture animal science sophomore, said she is excited to hear Davis speak on campus in the spring.

“She’s a huge part of our country’s black history and our country’s history as a whole,” Martin said. “She helped to bring about a lot of change, and I really admire her as a black woman in that time to be able to stand up and make a difference like that.”

Martin said she knows Davis is a controversial person, but hopes all students can get on board with her presence at Texas State.

“For some she’s a hero, and for others, her presence would be controversial,” Martin said. “Everyone has different beliefs that they subscribe to, but I feel like it’s important for us to be able to hear opinions that are different than our own.”

Alexander Molina, political science sophomore, said he will be attending both Davis’ and Mock’s visits.

“I think it’s going to be a good outlet for minority students at Texas State,” Molina said. “Representation matters so much. When students of color see influential speakers who overcame the same barriers as us, it gives us motivation to continue.”

As a student government senator, Molina said these visits will have many positive effects on campus and believes similar events should be scheduled.

Molina said Mock’s visit to campus will benefit the LGBTQIA community immensely.

“To see someone as successful as Janet Mock speak and offer the experience of what it is to be transgender going through life, it is an amazing honor,” Molina said. “It would allow people to be more aware of what’s going on.”

Molina said he encourages all students, regardless of political affiliation, to attend these events.

“When it comes to conservative students, we really need to be able to push the information out, and that will allow for us to have real dialogue,” Molina said.

Vincent Rios, criminal justice law enforcement sophomore, identifies as a conservative and would not mind the speakers on campus as long as it isn’t a distraction to his coursework.

“I do believe some conservative students will be offended or upset, but there is no reason to be, as long as there are no acts of violence or insults,” Rios said.

However, Rios said there should be more speakers on campus who hold more conservative values.

“There doesn’t seem to be a voice for conservatives at Texas State,” Rios said. “Having more conservative speakers would definitely benefit the conservative population.”

More information about Angela Davis’ March 31 visit and Janet Mock’s April 5 visit should be released within the upcoming months.

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