Actor Nate Parker To Address 2023 NSU Graduates
Award-winning actor, writer, director and producer Nate Parker will deliver the keynote address to nearly 600 graduating students at Norfolk State University’s Commencement Ceremony. The 110th Commencement will take place at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 6, 2023, at William “Dick” Price Stadium, located on the campus of Norfolk State University.
Parker has played lead characters and held starring roles in at least 19 films, including Beyond The Lights, Red Tails, The Secret Life of Bees, Arbitrage and Pride.
Most recently, Parker wrote, directed and starred in the film, The Birth of a Nation, which tells the story of Nat Turner (played by Parker) who led the 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. In his vision for the film, Parker expresses his deep desire to challenge the country to “heal from racial trauma through an honest confrontation with our past.” The Birth of a Nation won both of Sundance’s most sought-after honors: the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize.
In addition to being a prolific artist, he is also a devoted activist. Parker says, “If I am to be remembered by anyone, I would hope, those people speak my name as an individual who possessed a riotous disposition toward injustice, offering life and career as one of service to the marginalized, subjugated and oppressed peoples of the world.”
Parker recently launched the Nate Parker Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to confront systemic crises and disparities within the African and African-American communities in the areas of education, cultural enrichment and social and economic justice.
He is an outspoken advocate for racial equality, dedicating much of his time to closing the opportunity gap for boys and young men of color.
Parker holds a degree in Computer Programming from the University of Oklahoma and an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College.