Award-winning actress Viola Davis joins SpeakBlue Series

Megan Brown

The Student Activities Board will host actress Viola Davis as the third installment of the SpeakBlue series on Thursday, March 2.

Viola Davis is an award-winning actress known for breaking barriers in the entertainment industry. Her powerful acceptance speech for the “Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series” Emmy acknowledged the lack of opportunities for African-American women in the industry, and offered hope for a new era of equality.

Davis has performed in a multitude of blockbuster hits including “The Help,” “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Fences,” for which she recently won a Golden Globe for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.” She may be most popular for her Emmy Award winning role as Annalise Keating in the hit show “How to Get Away with Murder.” 

Davis was the second African-American woman to ever win a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway production of “Fences” in 2010, and the first black actress to ever earn three Oscar nominations, including one for her role in the film adaptation of “Fences” this year. 

“She is such an inspirational woman. There are a lot of things a lot of people really don’t know about her like she went to Julliard, so I just think we can all learn from her and she will be great out there,” SAB Director of Pop Culture and communications Libby Langlois said. 

Outside of her acting career, Davis is a champion for equal rights and an advocate for the Rape Foundation. 

The SpeakBlue series has previously featured two other esteemed guests, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Richard Sherman and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. 

Davis will speak at 8 p.m. in the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The doors will open a 7 p.m. Davis’ speech will encompass her career, how she has overcome adversity and the lessons she has learned to become a better artist.

Tickets for students are free with a UK ID and are currently available at the Singletary Center for the Arts Ticket Office. Tickets will be available for free for staff and faculty and $10 for the general public on Feb. 17.