Duke to open speakers series

Published September 27, 2021

Actor and UB alumnus Winston Duke will open the 35th edition of UB’s Distinguished Speakers Series with a talk at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts, North Campus.

Duke, who received a BA in theatre from UB and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, has appeared in such television shows and movies as “Us,” “Black Panther” and “Spenser Confidential.”

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, he made his feature film debut playing the fan-favorite character M’Baku in “Black Panther,” which earned him his first NAACP nomination for “Breakout of the Year.” He reprised the role in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers End Game.”

Duke’s projects also include Sony Pictures Classics’ “Nine Days,” which premiered to rave reviews at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; he served as an executive producer, as well as played the lead role in the film.

He has received numerous accolades, among them the Advanced Imaging Society’s Social Justice Lumiere Award for his work as the star and executive producer of “The Messy Truth VR Experience,” a virtual reality (VR) short-doc that provides viewers with a look at the timely themes of race, mercy and redemption through someone else’s eyes.

Outside of acting, Duke is an advocate for the HeForShe movement, and issued a global call to action for gender equality during the United Nations HeForShe Impact Summit in 2018.

Duke was recently named the first celebrity ambassador for Partners in Health, a nonprofit global health and social justice organization fighting injustice by bringing the benefits of modern medical science to impoverished communities around the world.

Ticket prices range from $28-$48 and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster or in person from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Center for the Arts box office. Series subscriptions are also available.

In accordance with UB, CDC and state Department of Health guidelines, all attendees must wear a mask in the Center for the Arts, regardless of vaccination status.

For more information, visit the Distinguished Speakers Series website.