Honors College Invites:
March 6, 2018
Gearhart Hall Auditorium
Save the Date: Payton Head
Speaking Up for Inclusion
It wasn’t the first time Payton Head was assaulted with racial slurs on the University of Missouri campus. But this time, when his Friday night stroll to get cookies was interrupted by young people shouting the n-word from a red pickup truck, Head took action. He posted to Facebook, detailing not only the racism he’d encountered, but challenging readers to contemplate the everyday abuses and inconveniences faced by Muslims, gay and transgender students, and students with disabilities.
Head was president of Mizzou’s students association at that time, and his post went viral, igniting students to fight for a more inclusive campus. Ultimately these campus protests led to the resignation of the chancellor and UM-System president in fall 2015.
Head was awarded an NAACP Image Award on the mantra “Courage Will Not Skip this Generation,” and he was featured in Spike Lee’s ESPN documentary 2 Fists UP. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and joined former Secretary Arne Duncan with the U.S. Department of Education to discuss strategies for addressing campus race relations. With the National Campus Leadership Council and the Department of Education, he co-authored a guide for student leaders for addressing inclusion and has presented to students nationwide on the importance of creating a culture of acceptance.
A member of the LGBTQ community, Head facilitates dialogue on the intersection of race and sexual identities. He has presented at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, addressed the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and helped to organize and present at the first White House Convening for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education. He has been featured in national media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, ABC, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Using his platform to advocate for inclusion, Head empowers students and campus administrators to fight hatred with radical love for others and for themselves.
Payton Head’s lecture is the latest in the Honors College Invites series, which brings thinkers and doers to campus to share their craft. For more information visit honorscollege.uark.edu/invites.