August 21, 2017  

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Jasmine Guy Guest Speaker for 2017 Armstrong-Branch Lecture

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The 2017 edition of the Armstrong-Branch Distinguished Lecture Series at The University of Southern Mississippi will feature famed actress and activist Jasmine Guy Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the University’s Hattiesburg campus. The title of her presentation will be "Making Your Own Different World." Admission is free.

Guy earned six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her role as Whitley Gilbert on the popular television sitcom A Different World, which aired on NBC from 1987-1993. Today, she directs as well as acts on stage, in film, and on television. She is author of a 2004 biography of Afeni Shakur, Black Panther activist and mother of rapper Tupac Shakur. 

The lecture series is named for Gwendolyn Armstrong Chamberlain and Raylawni Adams Branch, who made history as the first African American students at Southern Miss when they enrolled in 1965.

"We’re honored to have Jasmine Guy presenting at this signature event as we celebrate Black History Month and the integration of The University of Southern Mississippi,” said Southern Miss Dean of Students Dr. Eddie Holloway. “She is a multi-talented artist whose work on screen and stage is phenomenal, and we await her visit to campus with great anticipation.

“We are also excited about the return Gwendolyn Armstrong Chamberlain and Raylawni Adams Branch to Southern Miss for this event, and look forward to having a large audience welcome them home."

Guy has appeared on Broadway in productions of Beehive, Leader of the Pack, Grease, The Wiz and Chicago. She has recurring roles in both If Loving You is Wrong, Tyler Perry’s hit drama series on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and as Grams on the popular CW series, Vampire Diaries. Her other television performances include Dead Like Me, Melrose Place, NYPD Blue, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Single Living. She has traveled throughout the U.S. as a motivational speaker, often called upon to share her story openly with those who may benefit from her trials and triumphs.

The 2017 Armstrong-Branch Lecture will be presented by the USM Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, the Honors College and the Dean of Students Office. For more information about this event, contact the USM Dean of Students Office at dos@usm.edu.