Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities

“Enrique’s Journey and America’s Immigration Dilemma”

featuring Sonia Nazario

Lied Center for Performing Arts, Lincoln
Tuesday, September 27, 2016  •  7:30 p.m.
Free public lecture

This was the first in the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues 2016-17 series “Crossing Borders” in addition to being sponsored by the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Initiative The year 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize, and programs are taking place across the nation with former Pulitzer winners, their prize-winning work and the journalistic and cultural values that the prizes represent. These range from talks by prize-winners, discussions of editorial cartooning and drama performances to radio programs on the life and work of novelists and nature walks celebrating Pulitzer-winning environmental journalism.

Sonia Nazario has spent more than two decades reporting and writing for newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times. She was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her captivating series in the L.A. Times about a young Honduran boy on his brave odyssey to reunite with his mother in the United States. She later turned the series into the best-seller “Enrique’s Journey,” and now is at work on her second book.

Nazario’s lecture addressed one of the most challenging and divisive issues in our nation today: immigration. With a reporter’s eye to the truth, she humanized the issue and posed new perspectives that fall on both sides of conventional wisdom, while offering solutions intended to change the national dialogue on the influx of immigrants and the effect they have on our nation.

The 2016 Sower Award in the Humanities was also presented at the benefit dinner/reception prior to this event.

Partner Sponsors for the 2016 Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities:

imgres             thompson


Celebrating of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize

Humanities Nebraska received special funding toward the 2016 ​Governor’s Lecture through the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture with the Federation of State Humanities Council and the Pulitzer Prizes Board. Many state humanities councils around the country, including HN, are hosting special events in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prize. The initiative seeks to focus on journalism and the humanities, to imagine their future and inspire new generations to consider the values represented by Pulitzer Prize-winning work.

For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, HN is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and Columbia University.


In 1996, Humanities Nebraska collaborated with Governor Ben Nelson to establish the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities, an annual event to demonstrate the importance of the humanities in public life. His successors, Governors Mike Johanns, Dave Heineman, and Pete Ricketts have continued to enthusiastically support this lecture series, which is free and open to the public. The lecture features a nationally renowned speaker and is preceded by a benefit dinner.  Each year the event alternates between Lincoln and Omaha.  When held in Lincoln, the Governor’s Lecture is affiliated with the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues lecture series at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In addition to bringing a nationally recognized speaker to Nebraska and building a strong working relationship with Nebraska’s governor, the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities increases public visibility for Humanities Nebraska and its programs and generates income for statewide humanities programs. Annually, Humanities Nebraska honors individuals, institutions, businesses and communities with the Sower Award in the Humanities for contributions to public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska, based on nominations and letters of support from the citizens of Nebraska. The Sower Award is an original bronze sculpture by Nebraska artist Sondra Dunn Mahoney.



Omaha Nebraska Warrior Writers workshops start February 25

Veterans and active duty military personnel in the greater Omaha area are invited