Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Enrique’s Journey’ to speak at Auburn Oct. 17

Published: October 03, 2017
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Sonia Nazario, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose book "Enrique’s Journey" became a New York Times bestseller, will speak at Auburn University Oct. 17, at 6 p.m., in 1103 Shelby Center. The title of her public lecture is "Understanding immigration and life on both sides of the border."

"Immigration in general, and students who are English language learners in particular, are too often reduced to simple or scary sound bites for political purposes," said Jamie Harrison, an assistant professor of English for Speakers of Other Languages in the College of Education. "Of course these issues are complex, and go to the core of our values as a nation. Sonia Nazario speaks to these issues with passion born of experience."

In addition to "Enrique’s Journey," which covers the harrowing journey of a young Honduran boy to reunite with his mother in the United States, Nazario’s stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems–hunger, drug addiction and immigration–and have won several prestigious journalism and book awards.

Her visit to Auburn will include a lecture to the Global Fluency and Awareness class taught by Giovanna Summerfield and Iulia Pittman in the College of Liberal Arts at 11 a.m., in room 2510 of the new Mell Classroom Building. There are 75 students in the class, but seating capacity for 166, so visitors are welcome. Nazario will also join select students and faculty for lunch in Tichenor Hall at 12:30 p.m., and conclude with her evening lecture at 6 p.m.

"Enrique's Journey" was first published as a series in the Los Angeles Times and won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. It was turned into a book by Random House and became a national bestseller. Nazario’s recent humanitarian efforts to get lawyers for unaccompanied migrant children led to her selection as the 2015 Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award recipient by the Advocates for Human Rights.

In addition to these awards, Nazario was named a 2015 Champion of Children by First Focus and a 2015 Golden Door award winner by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, or HIAS, in Pennsylvania. In 2016, the American Immigration Council gave her the American Heritage Award. Also in 2016, the Houston Peace and Justice Center honored her with its National Peacemaker Award.

Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a "trendsetter" by Hispanic Magazine. In 2012, Columbia Journalism Review named Nazario among "40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years."

Nazario began her career at the Wall Street Journal and later joined the Los Angeles Times. She is now at work on her second book.

The event is sponsored by the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and the Office of the Provost.

For more information, contact Jamie Harrison at 334-844-8278 or by email at jlh0069@auburn.edu.