Michael Sam will be the keynote speaker for UofL's Pride Week and the Come Together 2016 conference.
Michael Sam will be the keynote speaker for UofL's Pride Week and the Come Together 2016 conference.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay man drafted by an NFL team, will speak at UofL Nov. 3. The event, at 7 p.m., in the Swain Student Activities Center, Multipurpose Room, is the keynote address for both UofL’s Pride Week and the Come Together Kentucky Conference.

This talk is sponsored by the Student Activities Board and The LGBT Center. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Register online.

Sam’s keynote will address his journey, triumphs over hardships, and lessons learned from key mentors in his life.

Sam ended his career at the University of Missouri as a consensus All-American and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He made history in 2014, as the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team when he was drafted by the then-St. Louis Rams. He is currently a free agent.

This event is part of a series of events that will make up UofL Pride Week 2016. Pride Week is a series of events hosted by The LGBT Center and is made possible by more than 40 sponsors from across the campus and community.

In addition to Sam’s talk, schedule highlights include:

HSC Pride Week Kickoff: Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Health Sciences Center Courtyard. Resource fair and free food and shirts. 

Belknap Pride Week Kickoff & Flag Raising Ceremony: Oct. 31, noon to 2 p.m., Red Barn & West Plaza. Resource fair and free food and shirts.

“Mission Accomplished?:The LGBT Movement One Year After Obergefell:” Oct. 31, noon to 1 p.m., Brandeis School of Law, Room 275; Free lunch & presentation from speakers: Chris Hartman, Fairness Campaign; T Benicio Gonzales, board member, ACLU of Kentucky; and Professor Jamie Abrams, UofL Brandeis School of Law. 

Come Together Kentucky Conference 

In addition to Pride Week, UofL is also hosting the Come Together Kentucky Conference 2016 from Nov. 3-6. The regional conference is planned by and geared toward LGBTQ college students. Students from across the state have been working for months to plan this event, which consists of more than 30 workshops and plenary speakers. 

This year’s conference features the “Y’all Means All” slogan, used courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Conference speakers include:

Michael Sam, University of Missouri football star, NFL free agent and the first openly-LGBT player to be drafted in any major American sport.

Payton Head, a recent graduate of the University of Missouri, where he served as president of the undergraduate government and has been at the forefront of conversations about improving race relations on campuses in the aftermath of Ferguson.

Marta Miranda has more than 35 years of experience in organizational and clinical social work practice. She is now the CEO of the Center for Women and Families and has been an advocate, activist and community organizer for more than 30 years. 

Tiommi Luckett is a black transgender woman who co-directs the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition. She works nationally with Positively Trans and will speak about rural trans life.

Layha Spoonhunter is a two-spirit-identified Native American studying political science at Idaho State University. Spoonhunter was recently invited to the White House to meet with President Obama.

CTK is presented by the Kentucky Association of LGBTQ Higher Education. Registration is $15 with college ID, but no college student will be turned away from attending. Register online

Alicia Kelso contributed to this story.