Transgender Advocate, Actress Laverne Cox Featured at University at Albany during Sexuality Week, Feb. 3

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 6, 2015) -- An appearance by Laverne Cox, star of the Netflix blockbuster, Orange is the New Black, will kick off Sexuality Week at the University at Albany on February 3 at 8 p.m. with the talk “Ain’t I a Woman.”  The event will be held in the Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. A full slate of Sexuality Week programs is scheduled at the University from February 2 to February 18.   Cox is an advocate for transgender rights and a critically acclaimed actress who currently appears in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, playing the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset, an incarcerated African American transgender woman. Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. A renowned speaker, Cox has gone nationwide with her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically.

Netflix star Laverne Cox

Netflix star Laverne Cox

Time Magazine named Sophia Burset the fourth most influential fictional character of 2013. Cox, who earned a degree in fine arts from Marymount Manhattan College, is also a recipient of the Dorian rising star award.


Due to high demand, tickets will be distributed at the main entrance to the Performing Arts Center starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 3, on a first-come, first-served basis to UAlbany students showing a valid SUNY Card to ticket staff members. In addition to the 500 seats for the live show and 200 seats for the overflow broadcast at the PAC, there will be open seating areas in Lecture Centers 7 and 18 as well as the Campus Center Ballroom, where there will be a live video feed of the Laverne Cox event. Members of the UAlbany community and the general public are welcome to join the open seating areas to watch the event and communicate with Cox through Twitter at #UAlbanySexualityWeek.

About Sexuality Week

During the 32 years that Sexuality Week has been in existence at UAlbany, college students across the nation have been faced with critical issues and choices. Concerns related to gender and sexuality, HIV/AIDS, relationships, identity, and reproductive health have remained at the forefront across time.

In recognition of these important issues, the content of programs within Sexuality Week reflects these key themes. “In this way, we hope to meet the needs of our students as well as to provide a retrospective and prospective look at the issues,” said M. Dolores Cimini, Ph.D., chair of the Sexuality Week committee, a licensed psychologist, assistant director for Prevention and Program Evaluation and director of the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program at UAlbany.

Numerous lectures and workshops are scheduled during Sexuality Week, all of which will be presented or supervised by individuals with expertise in the topic area. Sexuality Week is coordinated by the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program and the University Counseling Center. It is co-sponsored by the Student Association, University Auxiliary Services, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Sexuality Week Events

Other highlights of Sexuality Week include:

Jan. 30 - Feb. 2

 ·         Sexuality Week Film Festival, including an Orange Is the New Black marathon each night from 9 p.m.-midnight

Feb. 3: 7:30-8:45 p.m.

·         The Clothesline Project to raise LGBTQ suicide awareness.

Feb. 9: 7:30-8:45 p.m.

·         A panel discussion on what constitutes rape culture.

Feb. 9: 9 p.m.

·         Gaslighting: Is It Affecting Your Relationship? A look at “gaslighting” which is a form of emotional invalidation that undermines healthy relationships.

Feb. 11: 7 p.m.

·         Sex and the Soul by Donna Freitas, Ph.D., on students’ attitudes about hookup culture, sex, and dating and how a pervasive interest in spirituality fits into this mix.

All events during Sexuality Week are free and open to the public.

For more information about these events and all University programming, please visit the UAlbany Events Calendar.  

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.