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MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry to Join Wake Forest University Faculty

(Winston-Salem, N.C. – April 11, 2014) – MSNBC television host, award-winning scholar and Wake Forest University alumna Melissa Harris-Perry (‘94) will return to her alma mater as a chaired professor this summer.

Host of the popular MSNBC show “Melissa Harris-Perry,” she joins Wake Forest’s Politics and International Affairs department from Tulane University, where she has served as a political science professor since 2011.

“My love affair with Wake Forest began when I was 16, so having the opportunity to return is thrilling beyond measure,” said Harris-Perry. “Wake Forest taught me the joys of learning, the responsibilities of citizenship, and the endurance of friendship. I welcome the challenge of joining this demanding and nurturing academic environment.”

Known for her creative and dynamic teaching style, Harris-Perry brings practical political and relevant cultural experiences to the classroom. “Melissa Harris-Perry is one of the nation’s foremost intellectuals publicly exploring—and thoughtfully influencing—the intersections of politics, race, gender, religion and culture,” said Wake Forest Provost Rogan Kersh. “We are delighted that she has chosen to come home to Wake Forest and help ignite in our students the passion she has for contemporary political issues and social justice.”

Harris-Perry has been named a Presidential Chair, an endowed position that recognizes and supports exceptional faculty who embody Wake Forest’s teacher-scholar ideal. She is the second Presidential Chair honoree, joining Michele Gillespie of Wake Forest’s History Department.



Melissa is the director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. Named in honor of one of the most noted African-American intellectuals in the history of the nation, the Anna Julia Cooper Center is an LLC based in New Orleans that investigates how gender and race intersect to shape women’s politics in the South.

The Anna Julia Cooper Center will be moving to Winston-Salem, North Carolina in July 2014.

More information and current projects and events can be found at cooperproject.org.