Award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario gives 21st Annual Governor’s Lecture

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Sonia Nazario

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario spoke about America’s immigration dilemma to more than 1,500 people at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. This 21st annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities was presented free to the public by Humanities Nebraska in partnership with the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues and the University of Nebraska. Major funding was also provided by the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative, which recognizes the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer.

Chaired by Catherine Lang and Carol Rempp, the lecture was preceded by a benefit dinner that raised more than $165,000 thanks to many generous sponsors and donors who are supporting humanities programs throughout Nebraska with their gifts.

Also at the dinner, the 2016 Sower Award in the Humanities was presented to Marian Andersen of Omaha. She is a champion of culture, arts and humanities and spoke warmly of others who share her passion for culture.

At the Lied Center, Governor Pete Ricketts introduced Nazario to the audience. She talked about her “fly on the wall” journalistic style, which led to her Pulitzer Prize-winning work about immigration and the book she wrote, “Enrique’s Journey.” Nazario recounted her own harrowing journey, flinging herself onto moving freight trains through Central America with the migrating children. She also discovered a network of people who would help the travelers, despite their own poverty.

The journalist challenged the audience to look at immigration in new ways. While admitting that she is “not an open borders gal,” she maintained, “If a child is in danger and knocking at our door, we should open that door.”

Read the full transcript of her talk now.


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