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Press Release

Melissa Harris-Perry named 2014 Noel Visiting Professor

Contact: Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: January 17, 2014

DENVER – Metropolitan State University of Denver announces Melissa V. Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry," and nationally recognized author of “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America,” as this year’s Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professor.

On Feb. 27, Harris-Perry will give a series of lectures on campus and in the community about her work as professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges and harmful stereotypes that prevent African Americans - especially women of color - from fully realizing their potential in government and society.

Professor Harris-Perry is an award winning author and writes a monthly column also titled “Sister Citizen” for The Nation magazine. In addition to hosting her own show on MSNBC, she provides expert commentary on U.S. elections, racial issues, religious questions and gender concerns for a variety of other media outlets.

Her first book, “Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought,” won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

The Visiting Professorship, initiated in 1981 to foster multiculturalism, diversity and academic excellence at MSU Denver, brings renowned scholars and artists of distinction to the University to conduct classes, seminars, performances and lectures for students, faculty and the larger Denver community.

Harris-Perry will speak to students in the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus during the day on Feb. 27 and at the Noel Community Event at Shorter Community AME Church, 3100 Richard Allen Court, from 6-8 p.m.

During the evening, the following Colorado community leaders will be honored with Hope for the Future Noel Awards.

  • Wilma Webb, the First Lady of Denver and former Colorado state legislator
  • Gloria Neal, veteran multi-media broadcast journalist, CBS4 /AM760

Noel events on campus and in the community are free and open to the public, and no RSVP is required. For more information visit


About Rachel B. Noel

The Rachel B. Noel Visiting Professorship was initiated in 1981 to honor the accomplishments of Rachel B. Noel, a prominent player in Denver’s civil rights movement, the first African-American elected to the Denver Public School board and the first African-American woman to serve in elective office in Colorado.


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is a leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of ethnically diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges. The University currently has more than 22,000 students and offers 55 majors, plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts more than 75,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.


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