Journalist Kristof to speak at Northeastern

By Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta and Zack Sampson, News Staff

Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof will discuss his 2009 novel “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” on April 15 in Blackman Auditorium.

Kristof is often called a “reporter’s reporter” for his journalistic focus on issues of human rights. “Half the Sky,” which Kristof co-wrote with his wife and fellow journalist Sheryl WuDunn, details injustices against females across the globe. The text claims that the unlawful killing of women in any 10-year period has a body count higher “than all the genocides of the 20th century.” In the book, Kristof and WuDunn detail violent acts ranging from sex trafficking to lynchings, and pen emotional portrayals of survivors.

“Half the Sky” became a documentary film and is now a movement across the United States in communities and at colleges, including Northeastern, said Noreen Leahy, a “Half the Sky” campus ambassador at Northeastern. She is also president of the International Relations Council, the primary sponsor of Kristof’s appearance. As an ambassador, she works to spread awareness of the movement to the Northeastern community.

Leahy said she hopes students interested in human rights and “Half the Sky” find something to appreciate in the talk, as well as students interested in issues of journalism but not necessarily human rights.

“We just thought it would be a very interesting conversation starter,” she said of bringing the journalist to campus.

Kristof is a graduate of Harvard College and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he studied law.

While he was a student, Kristof backpacked around Africa and Asia, and reported on his experiences in order to cover the cost of travel. He joined the New York Times staff in 1984, and he has served as a Times correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo.

In 1990, Kristof and WuDunn, who was also working for the Times, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement.  Kristof won his second Pulitzer in 2006 for an in-depth commentary on the genocide in Darfur.

Kristof began writing columns for the Times in 2001. According to the New York Times biography of Kristof, his columns often focus on “global health, poverty and gender issues in the developing world.”

The event will begin at 7 p.m. It is sponsored by the International Relations Council and co-sponsored by NU Political Review, LASO, Strong Women Strong Girls, UNICEF at NU and the Social Enterprise Institute. Tickets are available on myNEU.

Leave a Reply