Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:49

UNC Pembroke announces 2021-22 Distinguished Speaker Series

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Top: Jesse Cole, Angeline Boulley. Bottom: Tommy Orange, Dr. Megan Ranney. Right: Bakari Sellers. Top: Jesse Cole, Angeline Boulley. Bottom: Tommy Orange, Dr. Megan Ranney. Right: Bakari Sellers. Contributed photos

PEMBROKE, NC – UNC Pembroke has announced the lineup for the 2021-2022 Distinguished Speaker Series. 

This year’s series features: 

  • Jesse Cole, Oct. 12, 7 p.m. at Givens Performing Arts Center (GPAC). 
  • Tommy Orange, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. at GPAC 
  • Bakari Sellers, Feb. 28, 2022, 7 p.m. at GPAC 
  • Angeline Boulley; March 28, 2022, 7 p.m. at the University Center Annex; and 
  • Dr. Megan Ranney, March 15, 2022, 7 p.m. at the University Center Annex. 

The series is presented by the Office of Campus Engagement and Leadership and GPAC. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for faculty/staff/children and free for UNCP students with a valid ID. 

“We are excited about this lineup. We have booked an amazing group of talented speakers. We have certainly established a tradition of bringing some of the best and brightest to UNCP, and this lineup is certainly no exception,” said Abdul Ghaffar, director of Campus Engagement and Leadership. 

Cole is the owner of First Fans Entertainment and Savannah Bananas, a collegiate summer baseball team. His teams have welcomed more than one million fans to their ballparks and have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, ESPN and in Entrepreneur Magazine. Fans First Entertainment has been featured on the INC 5000 lists as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. Jesse released his first book “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out.” 

Orange is the author of "There There," a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen — the lives of urban Native Americans. One of The New York Times' top books of 2018 and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, There There depicts violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. Orange also wrote a piece for GQ Magazine about Indigenous film star Wes Studi, who was featured in the 2018-2019 UNCP Distinguished Speaker Series.  

Sellers is an American attorney, political commentator and politician. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2006-2014, becoming the youngest African American elected official in the country at age 22. Sellers is currently a political analyst on CNN. Bakari’s niece is a soccer player at UNCP. 

Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community. Most recently, she served as director for the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Her debut and best-selling novel, "Firekeeper's Daughter," is a groundbreaking thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community.  

Ranney is a practicing emergency physician, researcher and advocate for innovative approaches to health. Her work focuses on the intersection between digital health, violence prevention and population health. She is the associate dean of Strategy and Innovation for the School of Public Health at Brown University.  

She is currently the Warren Alpert Endowed Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital/Alpert Medical School at Brown. Her work has been featured by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post and Fox News. 

The Distinguished Speaker Series is cosponsored by GPAC, School of Business, College of Health Sciences, the Department of American Indian Studies, Native American Student Organization, American Indian Heritage Center and the Pembroke Mellon REACH program. 

Visit to purchase tickets. 

UPDATE: Change made to date of Ranney's appearance.

Last modified on Thursday, 23 September 2021 15:05