Laverne Cox, the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show – Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” – will be the first speaker in UTRGV’s 2017 Distinguished Speaker Series.

Student Involvement is presenting Cox, a renowned speaker who will deliver her empowering message, “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood,” about moving beyond gender expectations.

The program is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, at the Performing Arts Complex on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus.

It is free and open to the public.