(Posted January 3, 2019)

Courtesy: Payton Head

Courtesy: Payton Head

Huntingdon, Pa.- On February 7, 2019, community leader and activist Payton Head will present the address at Juniata College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. Head leads discussions on the relationship between race, gender, sexual orientation and the community dynamics of college campuses. The Convocation, including Head’s address, begins at 4 p.m. in Alumni Hall, Brumbaugh Academic Center. It is free and open to the public.

Head graduated from the University of Missouri, where he served as student body president and spearheaded a movement after encountering racial slurs in 2015. The conversations Head held at the University sparked student protests that made national headlines, and brought to light years of bias incidents and behaviors targeted to students and faculty from underrepresented groups. These conversations eventually led to the resignation of the University’s president. 

“Payton Head is inspiring because he shows us the power of the commitment of a few individuals when their work engages the many,” says Marita Gilbert, Juniata’s dean of institutional equity and inclusive excellence. “It is important for young people to see themselves as change agents, and also for advocates and allies to understand how they can be helpful when injustices come to the forefront.”

Head also helped organize and present at the first White House Convening for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education, and partnered with the National Campus Leadership Council and the Department of Education to co-author a guide for student leaders for addressing inclusion.

His activism has been covered in the Washington Post, PBS, and The Independent (UK).


--Written by Rachel Desfosses '21--

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.