Bennett College, renowned for its commitment to excellence in education, social justice, and empowering women, is pleased to announce that the actress, creator, director, and humanitarian Erika Alexander was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) degree at the 2023 commencement exercises on May 13th. This prestigious recognition is bestowed upon a select few individuals who have made significant contributions to society and scholarship in the humanities. Erika Alexander joins the esteemed ranks of Dr. Maya Angelou, Phylicia Rashad, Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, Susan Taylor,
Ruby Dee, Barbara Bush, and U. S. Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC) as recipients of this distinguished honor.
The Bennett College Board of Trustees, recognizing Erika Alexander’s extraordinary body of work, unanimously approved the conferring of the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), which recognizes her outstanding service to society (humanitarianism) and scholarship in the humanities (journalism, social science).
The honorary degree was presented at the 2023 Commencement Ceremony, where Alexander was the speaker for the 94th graduating class of Bennett College. As the College prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary this fall, having been founded in 1873 and chartered as a college for women in 1926, the decision to award Erika Alexander with an honorary degree marks an historic occasion.
Bennett College president Suzanne Elise Walsh, JD says, “Similar to the Belles of Bennett College, Erika Alexander defies easy categorization. She effortlessly resides at the intersection of arts, media, gender, and social justice, embodying the spirit of the College’s mission. Her multifaceted career as an actress, trailblazing activist, entrepreneur, creator, producer, and director has cemented her status as one of the country’s boldest, most daring, and powerful voices. Erika Alexander uses her voice, platform, and influence to speak up and advocate for those who have been overlooked or marginalized, much like Bennett College. The College celebrates her relentless pursuit of excellence and her effort to have a positive impact on the human condition.”
She is not only an Afrofuturist, humanitarian, and artist, but also an activist and womanist, who perfectly reflects the mission and social justice values of Bennett College.
Alexander is an award-winning documentarian and creator, writer, and producer of 2022 Audible Original’s Best True Crime Series, and duPont Columbia award winner, “FINDING TAMIKA,” and producer of three time, EMMY nominated Best Documentary and winner NAACP Best Documentary, “JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE.” Alexander is known for her impactful roles in film and television, proving time and again her ability to captivate and move audiences.
As co-founder of Color Farm Media, with partner Ben Arnon, she is on a mission to bring greater equity, inclusion, and diverse representation to both media and electoral politics
President Walsh adds, “Beyond her accomplishments, Erika Alexander has utilized her voice, platform, and influence to advocate for those who have been overlooked or marginalized. The College expresses deep gratitude for her support and acknowledges her as a beacon of inspiration and empowerment.”
Watch or revisit the Commencement Ceremony HERE.