Award-winning author Janet Mock to give public lecture on April 16

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Camaron Miyamoto, (808) 956-9250
Coordinator, UH Manoa LGBTI
Posted: Apr 8, 2015

Janet Mock
Janet Mock

UH Mānoa graduate and award-winning author Janet Mock will present a free public lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2015, at the UHM Campus Center Ballroom. The moderated talk will be followed by a book signing, facilitated by the UH Mānoa Bookstore.

Mock is a writer, cultural commentator and advocate for transgender women’s rights.  Her coming of age memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, debuted at No. 19 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in February 2014.  

Said College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Eby Konan, “We are fortunate to welcome Janet Mock home to our campus. Her story is an inspirational one, and touches upon an issue that is important to the university and the broader community – providing a safe environment for all students through a culture of equality, inclusion, acceptance and respect. We hope Janet’s story opens the door to increased dialogue about this critical topic and has a lasting impact, not only on campus but throughout the state."

Added Camaron Miyamoto, coordinator for UHM's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Student Services, “Janet Mock's ability to write with such unflinching honesty will save lives. Redefining Realness is a poetic title for a book that challenges us to look at our own privilege when we are shocked by the reality of her story and reassures us that we are not alone when her emotions ring true in our souls. For me, the blend of self-determination, dignity, rage, entitlement, compassion, grace and transformative power speaks to qualities that many need to survive in oppressive situations and discriminatory institutions. The sense of urgency and the message of hope will inspire many of us to dream, persevere, achieve and uplift others."

Mock first told her story of growing up as a transgender in 2011 in Marie Claire. Her memoir has been featured on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, The Colbert Reportand Melissa Harris-Perry.

In 2012, Mock launched #GirlsLikeUs, a social movement that empowers transgender women and celebrates the diversity of womanhood. In 2013, she joined the board of directors at the Arcus Foundation, a leading global organization advancing social justice and conservation issues.

A native of Honolulu, Mock graduated from Farrington High and UH Mānoa, earned her MA in journalism from New York University, and worked as a staff editor for for five years. Currently, she hosts the weekly culture show “So POPular!” on MSNBC’s Shift network and serves as Contributing Editor for Marie Claire. She also serves as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight, has been featured in the HBO documentary The Out List, and has appeared in the Washington PostNew York Times, NPR, Rookie, Salon, Slate, Feministing, Colorlines and more.

Her work has been recognized by the Stonewall Community FoundationGLSENAnti-Violence ProjectADCOLOR Awards and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. She was also named Woman of the Year in 2013 by the feminist site Vitamin W and named to OUT magazine’s “Out 100” list, The Root 100, The GOOD 100, the Center for American Progress’ 13 Women of Color to Watch, the Huffington Post’s “23 Inspiring Women Blazing Trails for the LGBT Community” and The Grio’s most influential African-Americans. Her work has also been nominated for a Women’s Media Center Award and a GLAAD Media Award.

The event is sponsored by the UH Commission on the Status of LGBTI Equality, Hawai‘i LGBT Legacy Foundation and the following UHM units: LGBT Student Services Office; Campus Center Board Activities Council; SEED IDEAS; UH Mānoa Bookstore; and the College of Social Science’s Engaged Student Learning/Student Ambassador program, Ethnic Studies, Journalism, Political Science and Women’s Studies.

The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is engaged in a broad range of research endeavors that address fundamental questions about human behavior and the workings of local, national and international political, social, economic and cultural institutions. Its vibrant student-centered academic climate supports outstanding scholarship through internships, and active and service learning approaches to teaching that prepare students for the life-long pursuit of knowledge.

The University of Hawai‘i Commission on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Equality promotes a safe and inclusive environment by creating a culture of equality, acceptance, and respect throughout the UH system. The UH Commission on the Status of LGBTI Equality advocates the creation and implementation of and adherence to Hawai‘i State and University of Hawai‘i policies that serve the needs of the LGBTI students, staff, and faculty.

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