Wednesday, Rebecca Walker spoke in McConomy Auditorium as
the Gay Pride Month keynote speaker. The speech was the
first event of many in celebration of Gay Pride Month at
Carnegie Mellon University.
a graduate of Yale University, founded the Third Wave Direct
Action Corporation and is the author of Black, White and
Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self; To Be Real: Telling
the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism; and Putting
Down the Gun: New Masculinity. She is a contributing writer
to Vibe, Essence, Harpers, Spin, Glamour, and Ms.
Magazine and was named one of the 50 most influential
American leaders under the age of 40 by Time magazine.
She has also received the NOW Intrepid Award in addition
to the Women Who Could Be President Award from the League
of Women Voters.
speech, titled Love that Defies Convention,
addressed issues of sexual orientation and race. Vijay Jesrani,
a junior Policy & Management, Political Science, and
History & Policy major and GLBT Issues intern, introduced
Walker as someone who embodies Carnegie Mellons
mission of diversity. Walker, who is of Jewish and
African-American descent, stated that its
always a pleasure to speak to people ... who are not complete
... who want to grow.
said that we in the GLBT community are uniquely
positioned to make decisions. She then asked,
What are we doing right? and answered
by saying, We are successful because of the power
of our love.
also discussed her desire for people to tame their
minds ... [to] increase positive emotions like love, compassion,
peace movement begins at home ... in the hearts and minds
of all of us, she said. She encouraged students
to [collapse] the boundary between yourself and
others, by spending 30 seconds of the day imagining
what it would be like to love everyone in the world. Divisions
exist primarily in our minds, she said.
of Student Affairs Michael Murphy felt that [Walkers]
style was very warm and embracing.... Her message of vision
... was very inspiring.
Kupin, a junior in the Bachelor of Science and Arts program,
echoed Murphys praise of Walker: [Walkers]
change of rhetoric was very interesting. Kupin said
she was pleased to find Walkers speech more
emotional and more personal than she had anticipated.
made a point to tell the audience that she was intentionally
not dwelling on current legislation associated with GLBT
issues. Walker explained that she would rather have President
Bush become a more loving and compassionate person than
have ten new laws for GLBT issues. However, when questioned
the audience, she did briefly address her frustration with
President George W. Bush. Walker condemned President Bush
for ordering tanks instead of ordering more schools to be
built in Iraq. In her speech, she described politics as
a form of civil warfare, and expressed
her concern over the upcoming election and the war in Iraq.
In the battle for more gay and lesbian rights, she said,
We are slowly but surely winning.
speech was sponsored by SoHo, ALLIES, AB Political Speakers,
Women at SCS, Student Affairs, the Womens Center,
the Student Senate, and cmuOUT.