Sep 23, 2020 | Atlanta, GA
Author Sonia Nazario gave the keynote address at Georgia Tech’s third annual Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture.
The virtual lecture was part of Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Intercultural Lecture Series and one in a series of 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month events sponsored by the Office of Hispanic Initiatives (OHI).
Nazario, an award-winning journalist whose stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems, such as poverty, drug addiction, and immigration, has won two Pulitzer Prizes. She is best known for “Enrique’s Journey,” her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S. Published as a series in the Los Angeles Times, “Enrique’s Journey” won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. It was turned into a book and became a national bestseller.
“Latinx are nearly 1 in 5 Americans now in the United States, so I think putting a focus on Latinos is really important,” said Nazario.
“I have written about many social justice issues as a reporter, but it was really my past that has guided me to fight for perhaps the most vulnerable, I think – children who arrive alone at our borders and are often running from harm,” she said before launching into harrowing stories of journeying with children to cross Central American countries to reach relatives (often parents) in the U.S. and discussion about the need for better allowances for migrants to enter the country.
“When a child is knocking at our door and is in danger, I believe a country like ours should open the door," she added.
“Sonia Nazario is truly committed to social justice," said Jorge Breton, director of OHI. "Her lecture was powerful. Learning about the struggles and experiences of many immigrants gave me and others a different perspective about the conditions they face in their native countries, made us reflect on what we as individuals and as a nation could do to help them, and provided us with a better appreciation of what it means to live in this country."
To learn more about 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month at Georgia Tech, visit: https://hispanicoffice.gatech.edu/events/hispanic-heritage-month.
NOTE: This story has been edited to remove the video recording of the lecture.