This Speaker Series is a new initiative from New Student & Leadership Programs that started in the Fall of 2020. The program emerged from discussions over the summer about how COVID was going to affect our programming efforts, while also engaging with the Tulane community, the larger New Orleans community, and beyond. Throughout the year our office will be hosting a series of notable speakers, both local and national. Past speakers include author Ijeoma Oluo and the co-founders of House of Tulip, Mariah Moore and Milan Nicole Sherry. We want to showcase these people and the amazing work they do for their community. Through this Speaker Series we aim to highlight the leadership efforts of these amazing people and how leadership exists in all realms of life.
Artist, organizer, educator, and popular public speaker, Patrisse Cullors is a Los Angeles native, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Founder of grassroots Los Angeles-based organization Dignity and Power Now. For the last 20 years, Patrisse has been on the frontlines of criminal justice reform and led Reform LA Jails’ “Yes on R” campaign, a ballot initiative that passed by a 73% landslide victory in March 2020.
Patrisse co-founded the global Black Lives Matter movement in 2013 after sparking the viral Twitter hashtag. The movement has since expanded into an international organization with dozens of chapters around the world campaigning against anti-black racism. Cullors’ work for Black Lives Matter recently received recognition in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 list and TIME Magazine’s 2020 ‘100 Women of the Year’. In January 2016, Patrisse Cullors published her memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, which became an instant New York Times Bestseller.
From 2016 to 2018 Patrisse worked as a Senior Fellow at MomsRising where she worked on ground breaking Federal legislation that will change the outcomes of maternal mortality for women, especially Black women. She also executive produced two podcasts with Rewire and developed a booklet labeled “c-section chronicles”. Patrisse Cullors is a former staff writer at Freeform’s Good Trouble series as well as an actress on the show.
As an artist Patrisse has directed and produced world renowned theater, performance pieces and docu-series. Her work has been on networks like BET and Blackpills as well as theaters and galleries across the world. Most recently she conducted her first solo show titled: Respite, Reprieve and Healing: An Evening of Cleansing. Her work focuses on trauma, healing and resilience.
Patrisse is currently the Faculty Director at Arizona’s Prescott College of a new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program that she has developed. It is the first of its kind in the nation to focus a curriculum on the intersection of art, social justice and community organizing.
Patrisse is the recipient of the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation. She has held residencies at The 24th Street Theater and Kalamazoo College. Patrisse has exhibited widely across Los Angeles and the United States, from traditional arts institutions to public spaces. Her work has been shown at Art Basel Miami, Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the California African American Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, Kalamazoo College, Pieter Performance Space, Highways Performance Space, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and more. Patrisse holds her MFA from USC Roski School of Art and Design.
Patrisse has been honored with various awards including: The 2020 Durfee Stanton Fellowship, The 2019 Champion for Peace and Justice from the Trayvon Martin Foundation, The Next Generation Award (2018) from ACLU National, The Sydney Peace Prize Award (2017), Black Woman of the Year Award (2015) from The National Congress of Black Women, Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century Award (2015) from the Los Angeles Times, Community Change Agent Award (2016) from BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Inc., Women of the Year Award for the Justice Seekers Award (2016) from Glamour, and ESSENCE’ first-ever Woke Award.
In honor of Patrisse’s leadership, vision and her work for Black Lives Matter, the Los Angeles City Council has declared “Patrisse Cullors Day” on February 2, 2020.
adrienne maree brown is a writer. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, the radical self/planet help book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, published by AK Press in 2017. She is also the co-editor of the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements with Walidah Imarisha, published by AK Press in 2015. She has helped to cultivate work and thinking about Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategy, gathering a loose knit global network of people interested in reading Octavia’s work from a political and strategic framework.
In terms of writing, adrienne blogs regularly on this site, wrote the Pleasure Dome column at Bitch Magazine, and is a contributing editor for YES! Magazine.
She attended the Clarion Sci Fi Writers Workshop and the Hedgebrook Writers Residency in 2015, and Voices of Our Nation in 2014 as part of the inaugural Speculative Fiction Workshop. She was a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and a 2013 and 2015 Knights Arts Challenge winner, writing and generating science fiction in and about Detroit. She was the Ursula Le Guin Feminist Sci Fi Fellow, and a Sundance/Time Warner 2016 Artist Grant Recipient.
adrienne was the facilitator of the founding year of the Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA), supporting Detroiters to shift the narratives of the city towards justice and liberation.
adrienne studied with generative somatics Teacher Training for a decade to deepen her healing, doula and facilitation work. She is part of the Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity team, at the intersection of political education, community organizing, somatics and black love.
She has facilitated the internal healing and visionary development of organizations throughout the movement (most recently BYP100, Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter. She has also worked with Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Chorus Foundation, Correctional Association of NY, Young Women United, Positive Women’s Network, Black Mesa Water Coalition, INCITE!, the Young Women’s Empowerment Project in Chicago, New Orleans Parents Organizing Network, ColorofChange.org and Detroit Summer).
adrienne was a co-facilitator for the Detroit Food Justice Task Force, facilitator for Detroit Future, and the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, as well as part of the faculty for the Center for Whole Communities. She partnered with Engage to facilitate a year-long Community of Practice on Networks and Decentralizing Leadership, 2011-2012. adrienne was the executive director of The Ruckus Society from 2006-2010, and sat on their board through 2012. She was also a National Co-Coordinator for the 2010 US Social Forum. adrienne is proud to have spent time on social justice organization boards including The Ruckus Society, Allied Media Projects, Third Wave Foundation, and Common Fire, as well as many others.
A co-founder of the League of Pissed Off/Young Voters and graduate of the Somatics and Social Justice Cohort, Somatics and Trauma year-long, Rockwood’s Art of Leadership year-long training, and Robert Gass’s Art of Change year-long training, adrienne is obsessed with learning and developing models for action, community strength, movement building and transformation.
Mariah Moore is a national transgender rights activist from New Orleans, LA. Her work includes fighting to ensure equity, equality and safety for the transgender community, especially Black transgender women. Mariah has worked tirelessly in New Orleans to bring awareness to communities that have been adversely affected by laws and policies that are discriminatory.
Mariah serves on the LGBTQ Task Force which was created by New Orleans Mayor, LaToya Cantrell. She also works with the CANS Can't Stand campaign, which is a campaign that was created to bring awareness to and hopefully abolish the crimes against nature law that has historically targeted LGBTQ people of color, specifically Black transgender women. Mariah is a Victory Empowerment Alumni, which is a program that identifies LGBTQ community members who wish to run for office and provides campaign training and support. Mariah is also involved with SONG, through the Lorde’s Werq! fellowship. Through sharing her lived experiences as well as the work she does at Transgender Law Center as a Program Associate, she continues to change hearts and minds so that all LGBTQ people can live free from fear.
Milan Nicole Sherry (she/her/hers) is a New Orleans native and founding member of BreakOUT!, where she first became a youth organizer. In direct response to killings of Black transgender women, Sherry created the #BlackTransLivesMatter campaign and organized the first New Orleans Trans March, led by transgender and gender- nonconforming youths of color, and founded NOLA’s Trans March of Resilience. Milan has also helped the Department of Justice reduce racial and gender profiling by the NOPD and has contributed to a Human Rights Watch report linking discriminatory policing to HIV transmission. Recipient of the 2013 NOLA Unity Award and the 2015 Rising Star Award, presented by EQLA Quality , Milan has been involved with the American Bar Association’s Opening Doors Project and featured on PBS’ In the Life and in Philadelphia Magazine. She's a national board member of Positively Trans served as the co- coordinator/outreach specialist at the Trans Equity Project in Philadelphia and now is the Co-Director of The House OF Tulip.
Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based Writer, Speaker and Internet Yeller. Her work on social issues such as race and gender has been published in The Guardian, The Stranger, Washington Post, ELLE magazine, NBC News and more. Her New York Times bestselling first book, So You Want to Talk About Race, was released January 2018 with Seal Press.
"This book is much-needed and timely. It is more than a primer on racism. It is a comprehensive conversation guide." - National Review of Books
Ijeoma was named one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, one of The Root's 100 Most Influential Americans in 2017 & 2018, and is the recipient of the Feminist Humanist Award 2018 by the American Humanist Association, the Media Justice Award by the Gender Justice League, and the 2018 Aubrey Davis Visionary Leadership Award by the Equal Opportunity Institute.