Michael Kenneth Williams to Speak
"Boardwalk Empire" and "The Wire" actor will discuss social justice, racism, classism, homophobia, and survival
POUGHKEEPSIE (Feb. 24, 2014) – Actor Michael Kenneth Williams will discuss social justice, racism, classism, homophobia, and survival, as well as his acting career and the complex characters he has played when he speaks at Marist Thursday, Feb. 27.
Williams is one of television’s most respected and acclaimed actors. He has established himself as an accomplished and versatile performer, bringing complicated and charismatic characters to life with surprising tenderness. He is best known for his work as whistle-happy, profanity-averse, dealer-robbing stickup man, Omar, on The Wire, which ran for five seasons on HBO. For his work Michael was nominated in 2009 for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Williams currently co-stars as Chalky White in HBO’s critically-acclaimed series "Boardwalk Empire," which won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2012. Most recently, he has guest-starred in three episodes of NBC’s "Community." Additional television credits include "Law & Order," "CSI," "The Philanthropist," "Boston Legal," and a recurring role on "The Sopranos."
He made his feature film debut in the urban drama "Bullet," after being discovered by the late Tupac Shakur. His other films include: "The Road," "Gone Baby Gone," "Life During Wartime," "I Think I Love My Wife," "Snitch," in which he co-starred opposite Dwayne Johnson, and "Bringing Out the Dead."
Giving back to the community plays an important role in Williams's off-camera life. He has established Making Kids Win, a charitable organization whose primary objective is to build community centers in urban neighborhoods that are in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Williams began his career at age 22 as a professional dancer. He decided to purse acting seriously after numerous performances in music videos and as a background dancer touring with Madonna and George Michael. His theatre performances include productions at the La MaMA Experimental Theatre, the National Black Theatre Company, and the Theater for a New Generation, directed by Mel Williams.
This event is presented by The Center for Multicultural Affairs, The Black Students Union, and The School of Management