Shannon Speed, professor of gender studies and anthropology, is the latest recipient of the UCLA Marty Sklar My Last Lecture Award. She is the first woman of color and non-STEM person to be recognized with this award. More than 3,500 votes were cast by students to nominate this year’s winning professor. The tradition dates back more than 60 years, when six notable figures from across campus were invited to share their perspectives and lessons on life. It was revived in 2010 by the Alumni Scholars Club in collaboration with the UCLA Alumni Association.
Speed, director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, is an expert on issues of indigenous autonomy, legal anthropology, human rights, migration and social justice. She has published journal articles and book chapters in English and Spanish and is the author of several books including the award-winning “Incarcerated Stories: Indigenous Women Migrants and Violence in the Settler Capitalist State.” She is one of the special advisors on Native and Indigenous affairs for Chancellor Gene Block.
Speed will answer the same question posed to the original lecturers: “What would you tell your audience if you had but one lecture to give — your last lecture on this earth?” at the award ceremony on May 17, which will be held at 7 p.m. in De Neve Auditorium. Free tickets are now available at the Central Ticket Office.