From a press release

Gabrielle Union, an actress, author and an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, is the speaker for the 2018 season opener of Brainfood, the Dillard University President’s Lecture Series. Union will talk at Dillard at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Lawless Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Since 2013, Union has starred in the critically acclaimed BET drama, Being Mary Jane where she portrays Pauletta (“Mary Jane Paul”) Patterson,a successful TV news anchor who manages family issues, relationships and her career. Union landed her first onscreen appearance in 1993 and has notched 78 acting credits since then, including Deliver Us from Eva, Bad Boys II and both Think Like a Man movies. But the most important Union has told is her own.

In 1992, while working at a retail store, Union was raped at gunpoint. Union shared this tragedy in 2014 to “embrace being a survivor, because that’s who I am” and has encouraged other survivors to do the same. In Union’s new memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine, she details the traumatic attack and her journey to healing.

“Over the past year there has been a growing call for all of us to have meaningful conversations, especially related to issues of sexual harassment and assault,” said Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University. “Not only has Gabrielle Union been on the forefront of these issues, she continues to use her celebrity status to talk about lots of sensitive issues we have resisted discussing. Dillard needs to be a leader not only for our campus to discuss, but our city.”

Recently, Union told The New York Times that she’s been talking about the issue of sexual assault for two decades, and now there’s more microphones than ever.

“All of these disclosures—from Hollywood to farm workers to the restaurant industry to television to music to academia—show that this is so widespread and so many peoples’s lives have been derailed,” Union said in the interview.

For Union, doing good deeds is paramount and her passion for acting is rivaled by her civic involvement. Union is an Ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and supports for the Young Survivor Coalition (YSC) and the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at UCLA. A Nebraska native, Union currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Miami with her family.