Leading Activists - Michelle Alexander and Judy Norsigian - to Speak at 2016 Simmons College Commencement May 20

Mar 03, 2016, 12:00 ET from Simmons College

BOSTON, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Simmons College is proud to announce two nationally known, pioneering social justice advocates will serve as keynote speakers during its 111th Commencement ceremonies Friday, May 20 at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston.

Acclaimed civil rights lawyer, author, and legal scholar Michelle Alexander is the speaker for the morning undergraduate ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Groundbreaking women's health advocate and author Judy Norsigian is the speaker for the afternoon ceremony for master's and doctoral students at 2:30 p.m.

"The remarkable work of these visionary women to raise consciousness about the profound injustice of mass incarceration of African-American men and foundational importance of women's health embody the spirit of purpose, empowerment, and excellence we want to impart to our graduates," said Simmons College President Helen Drinan.

The college will be live tweeting from the ceremony at @SimmonsCollege #SIMS16.

Alexander, a leading voice for racial equality in America, wrote the 2010 critically acclaimed New York Times best selling book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which explores the high percentage of African-American males incarcerated in the United States. Alexander's book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best non-fiction, and remained on the Times Best Seller List for more than a year.

Norsigian co-authored the book Our Bodies, Ourselves in 1971, a pivotal time in the burgeoning women's movement. This text empowered women to learn more about their bodies and encouraged them to draw from the experiences of other women to realize political and societal changes.

Both Alexander and Norsigian will receive honorary degrees from Simmons. Also receiving honorary degrees are:

  • Saru Jayaraman, an advocate for the rights of immigrant workers, author, and co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) in New York – an organization with more than 18,000 work members, 150 employer partners, and several thousand consumer members in over 30 cities nationwide.
  • Dr. Paula A. Johnson, an internationally recognized physician, researcher, and expert in public health and health policy. Recently appointed president of Wellesley College, Dr. Johnson has devoted her career to improving the lives of women through health care advancement and education.
  • Robert Lewis, Jr., a noted civic, community, non-profit leader, and founder of The BASE in 2013 – an organization that provides comprehensive athletic and advancement opportunities for student athletes.

For more information, visit www.simmons.edu.



SOURCE Simmons College