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Ambassador for the #BlackLivesMatter Network to address Women and Gender Studies conference

headshot of Janaya Khan

Janaya Khan

Janaya Khan, international ambassador for the #BlackLivesMatter Network, will be the keynote speaker for the 23rd annual Women’s and Gender Studies Symposium at 1 p.m., Friday, April 20, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Symposium highlights papers and presentations related to the study of women and/or gender and its intersections with race, sexuality, ability, class/caste, and colonization.

With a timely message about the transformational power of protest, Khan is a leading activist who engages the audience in a profound discussion about social justice and equality.

Known as “Future” within the Black Lives Matter movement, Khan is a black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist (pronouns: they, them, theirs), staunch Afrofuturist, and social-justice educator who presents an enlightening point of view on police brutality and systemic racism.

Khan has been honored with several awards, including the 2015 Bromley Armstrong Humanitarian Award, and has been featured in media outlets, including the Feminist Wire, RaceBaitR, and The Root. Khan currently serves as executive director of Gender Justice LA, a grassroots multi-racial coalition of transgender people and allies.

The Illinois State University Speaker Series seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process. All talks are free and open to the public.

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