“Dear White People” Actress to Deliver MLK Jr. Commemorative Lecture
Trinity University to welcome Ashley Blaine Featherson on Jan. 19
Monday, January 11, 2021
portrait of ashley blaine featherson on a maroon background with the text 2021 MLK Jr. Celebration, Tuesday, January 19, 7 p.m. CT and a trinity logo

Trinity University and the City of San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission will welcome Ashley Blaine Featherson, actress, singer, and producer who currently stars in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Dear White People, as the guest speaker for the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture. Due to COVID-19 concerns, her presentation will be live-streamed at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, on Trinity’s Tiger Network. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Dear White People series follows college students of color at a prestigious university, where they encounter very real and relatable issues involving race, discrimination, and empowerment.

Featherson is described as a force of talent on screen and brings the same level of passion and energy to her off-screen messages of empowerment, hard work, self-discovery, and acceptance. She states her purpose is to change the world through her artistry and to serve as a resource for women of color.

Recognizing a lack of positive role models for girls of color, Featherson co-created the groundbreaking web series Hello Cupid alongside screenwriter, producer, and Emmy-winner Lena Waithe. Vulture, the culture and entertainment site from New York magazine, selected Hello Cupid as one of the best web series of 2014. Featherson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater from Howard University. 

Trinity has honored the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. for decades and launched the speaker series in 1994. Each year more than 300 students, staff, and faculty have joined in the city's annual MLK Jr. March through the East Side. Because of the pandemic, this year’s march will be celebrated virtually. Additional activities to honor the late Martin Luther King Jr. can be found in the City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commission's webpage

The lecture will be streamed live on the Tiger Network. For more information on this lecture, isit Trinity’s events page or contact Courtney Balderas, Trinity’s director for Student Diversity and Inclusion, at cbaldera@trinity.edu.

Previous MLK Jr. Commemorative Lecturers

2020 - Robert Bullard
2019 - Ijeoma Oluo
2018 - Kathleen Neal Cleaver
2017 - Marc Lamont Hill 
2016 - Freeman Hrabowski
2015 - Tim Wise
2014 - Julianne Malveaux
2013 - Boyce Watkins
2012 - Ilyasah Shabazz
2011 - Marc Lamont Hill
2010 - Angela Davis
2009 - L. Douglas Wilder
2008 - Nikki Giovanni
2007 - Chuck D
2006 - Randall Kennedy
2005 - Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Rev. Claude Black, & Diane Nash
2004 - Thomas W. Dortch
2003 - Bernice King
2002 - A' Leila Bundles
2001 - Johnetta Cole
2000 - Derrick Bell
1999 - William H. Gray
1998 - Julian Bond
1997 - Clarence Page

Carla Sierra is the public relations manager for Trinity University Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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