Press Release

Author and Cultural Critic Roxane Gay speaks at Bunker Hill Community College

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

BOSTON, March 14, 2019Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay spoke on Thursday, March 7, 2019, as part of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC)’s Compelling Conversations Series.

Named “America’s brightest new essayist” by The Guardian, Gay is the author of New York Times bestsellers Bad Feminist and Difficult Women. She recently became the first black woman to write for Marvel, penning a comic series in the Black Panther universe called World of Wakanda.

Gay’s work garners international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. At Thursday’s event, she read excerpts of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, a book that explores what it means to be overweight in a world where body size and image is a focal point, and the struggle of overcoming trauma.Roxane Gay

From Hunger, Gay shared with the audience her distaste of exercise, her love for Ina Garten and The Barefoot Contessa and the joy that comes from enjoying the Haitian cuisine of her childhood, before opening the discussion to student questions.

“When I write, especially when I write something personal, I tell myself that no one is going to read my work,” said Gay when asked how she’s able to balance truth in storytelling with personal humility. “If I think too much about audience, then I’m not going to have the courage to say the kinds of things that I most need to say, and I’m not going to be as honest as I need to be on the page.”

Trustee and BHCC alumna Cathy Guild delivered the opening remarks to Thursday’s presentation. “I came to Bunker Hill Community College as an adult learner, wanting to change my life not only for myself but for my children. I not only achieved my goal, but I also left confident in who I am and what I can be. I found a different life that opened up a multitude of opportunities, and through time, your goals too will be accomplished.”

In partnership with BHCC’s newly launched Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth, the series of speakers for 2018-2019 is intended to support meaningful and relevant discussion both inside and outside the classroom as part of the College’s ongoing exploration of power, privilege, equity and cultural wealth which served as the focus of the College’s first Equity and Cultural Wealth Institute in May 2018.

Arlene Vallie, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, introduced Gay to the BHCC community. “Courageous, humorous, smart – these are words frequently used to describe today’s speaker,” she said. “Ms. Gay is revered nationally and internationally her for deft eye on modern culture and social critique and criticism.”

For more than ten years, BHCC has hosted nationally-recognized thought leaders and speakers to share their experiences and opinions in onstage conversations, literary readings and compelling lectures that both expand and challenge the BHCC community’s awareness of contemporary issues. For a complete list of speakers, past, present and future, please visit

Media Contact:

About Bunker Hill Community College
With more than 50 years of academic excellence, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is Massachusetts' largest community college, annually welcoming a diverse community of around 16,000 students. With campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, BHCC extends its reach across several locations in Greater Boston. The College offers associate degrees and certificates, early college and dual enrollment, community education, corporate training, and industry-specific training programs. BHCC is celebrated for its diversity, boasting a student body where 65% identify as people of color and more than half are women. The College also embraces a global perspective, with over 600 international students representing 90 countries and conversing in more than 65 languages. Our commitment to diversity is further reflected in BHCC's designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).