Kent State Presents Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists and Human Rights Advocates Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Photo of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunnHusband-and-wife duo Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, who combine journalism and activism in their unique brand of reporting centered on human rights abuses and advocacy, will speak at the fourth Kent State University Presidential Speaker Series on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Kristof and WuDunn were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement.

This free, ticketed event is open to the public. For general admission tickets, which are required to gain entry, visit beginning Monday, Oct. 21. Their appearance is sponsored by Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the College of Communication and Information.

“These are front-line journalists who have seen the world’s history unfold in front of their eyes, and their perspective demands our attention,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “Human rights continue to be a dominant issue around the world – one that our students will face as they enter the global workforce. Kristof and WuDunn have a message that will resonate with both our heads and our hearts.”

In 1990, Kristof and WuDunn earned a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for their reporting on the pro-democracy student movement and the related Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. They co-wrote “China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power” and most recently penned the best-selling “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” Addressing worldwide maltreatment, marginalization and brutality toward women, “Half the Sky” draws a compelling picture of the trials and triumphs of women struggling for opportunity and equality. Called “electrifying” by The Washington Post, the book inspired a special four-hour PBS series of the same name.

A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, Kristof is often called a “reporter’s reporter” for his activism and was the subject of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival documentary “Reporter.” He has lived on four continents, reported on six and traveled to 140 countries, all 50 states, every Chinese province and every main Japanese island in order to offer a compassionate glimpse into global health, poverty and gender in the developing world. As part of the “Half the Sky” documentary series, Kristof traveled around the world along with celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde to meet inspiring individuals confronting the global oppression of women.

The first Asian-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, WuDunn is a business executive, entrepreneur and best-selling author. She has special expertise in Asia, entrepreneurship, global women’s issues and philanthropy. As an investment banker, she currently helps growth companies, including those operating in the fields of new media technology, entertainment, social media, healthcare and the emerging markets, particularly China. In conjunction with “Half the Sky,” she helped launch the development of a robust multimedia effort, creating a thoughtful, effective philanthropic strategy that includes an online social game for Facebook, the PBS documentary series and outreach with many non-governmental organizations, or NGOs.

As world-renowned human rights activists, Kristof and WuDunn give a voice to the voiceless. For more information about these speakers, visit

About the Kent State University Presidential Speaker Series

The Kent State Presidential Speaker Series seeks to bring high-profile, world-renowned experts to Kent State for serious, thought-provoking discussions and conversations. The program enhances the engagement of the world beyond Kent State’s campuses, which is one of the university’s strategic goals. Previous speakers were astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel and photographer Trey Ratcliff.

For more information about Kent State University’s Presidential Speaker Series, visit For questions about the Kent State Presidential Speaker Series event, please call 330-672-2216 during normal business hours or email

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Photo Caption:

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and human rights advocates Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn speak at Kent State University on Nov. 14 as part of the Kent State University Presidential Speaker Series.

Media Contacts:

Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797 Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Monday, October 21, 2013 12:00 AM
Updated: Monday, April 20, 2015 09:30 AM
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