Columbus, OH

OUAB to host Keke Palmer in person to discuss career, activism

The Lantern
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Keke Palmer performs during the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards at the Skyline Drive-In, broadcast on Sunday, August 30, 2020 in New York. Credit: Courtesy of BAUZEN/TNS

Actress, singer and activist Keke Palmer will make her way to campus to hold a discussion with students and a signing session for her book, “I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice.”

Palmer has played an active role in the entertainment industry for years, progressing from the youngest talk show host in history to starring in Jordan Peele’s newest directorial project, according to the Ohio Union Activities Board website . Live from the Ohio Union Feb. 21, Palmer will discuss her career, role in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and future ambitions.

“We’re really trying to take a deep dive into her career and her life,” Haley Hartigan, a fourth-year in strategic communication and director of lectures for OUAB, said. “She’s been in the entertainment industry for a long time — since she was a child. So we’re really trying to do a deep dive on that and her experience, especially her experience as a Black female in the entertainment industry.”

Palmer was also the first Black actress to play Cinderella in the Broadway musical and Marty in the TV movie version of “Grease,” according to OUAB’s website.

With estimates of up to a thousand attendees, Hartigan said masks will be required during the event, and Palmer and the moderator will be socially distanced while sitting on stage.

Krystal Vielman, assistant director for OUAB, said hosting Palmer as a speaker will offer students a multifaceted glimpse into the entertainment industry, and the event itself will serve as a way to make students feel connected with one another.

“Overall, the goal of the event is to entertain people and provide a welcoming environment,” Vielman said. “But this can also be a great opportunity for students to learn about different facets of the entertainment industry, publishing industry and the development industry.”

Vielman said she wants students to take away something valuable from the event and hopes attendees will feel inspired to give back to the community afterward.

“Hopefully students leave the event feeling inspired, driven to try different things out and bring that energy back into the Columbus community,” Vielman said.

Palmer will hold a book signing at the end of the event for her book “I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice.”

“Convos with Keke ft. Keke Palmer” will start at 7 p.m. in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union, with a Zoom link available for those who cannot attend the event in person.

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