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University News

Lecture Board reveals spring speakers

Panel of Laverne Cox, R.J. Mitte and Aasif Mandvi to address diversity, stereotypes in media

By
University News Editor
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Indian-American comedian Aasif Mandvi has been a regular correspondent for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which airs on Comedy Central, since 2006.

Brown Lecture Board’s spring lineup will include a panel featuring Laverne Cox from “Orange is the New Black,” R.J. Mitte from “Breaking Bad” and Aasif Mandvi from “The Daily Show,” in addition to a separate lecture by Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chairman of Twitter, said Kaivan Shroff  ’15, Lecture Board president, in an exclusive interview with The Herald.

The panel featuring Cox, Mitte and Mandvi will focus on stereotypes and diversity in television. It will take place on March 16, Shroff said. “We felt it was a good opportunity for people on some of the most popular shows on television right now to discuss reshaping stereotypes,” he added.

All three actors “offer a diverse set of perspectives,” Shroff said, noting that Cox plays a transgender character, Mitte has cerebral palsy and Mandvi is Indian. In the past, Lecture Board has struggled to bring diverse speakers to campus due to speakers’ limited availability, he said.

“Hopefully it will be a moderated panel, where each of the three guests gets to give their unique perspective in relation to the industry as a whole and also their experience and the diverse interactions they’re having as representatives for different causes,” he said.

This marks the first time Lecture Board will host a panel, rather than a lecture by a single speaker, Shroff said. “We’re definitely open to loosening up what has been a little bit of a rigid structure to our lectures,” he said. “We want to find the best ways to engage students.”

The speakers were chosen based on suggestions by Lecture Board general body members, not the entire student body, Shroff said, adding that soliciting ideas from the student body is more “democratic” but also takes more time.

Dorsey will speak March 13 about his experiences leading Twitter and founding Square, a credit card scanning app with a particularly strong following among food trucks.

Lecture Board partnered with CareerLAB to bring Dorsey to campus, Shroff said.

Tickets will be sold through online lottery systems, Shroff said. The lottery for Dorsey’s lecture opened Wednesday and will close Friday, while the lottery for the panel will start Friday and conclude Tuesday.

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  1. laverne cox: trans hegemony

  2. Are the students going to shout these people down also?

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