April 25, 2018  

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Award-winning Journalist Kristof University Forum Speaker April 10

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Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Kristof, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, will put a spotlight on the global menaces of human trafficking and the global sex trade when he speaks at The University of Southern Mississippi for its final University Forum of the 2018 spring semester.

Kristof, a New York Times columnist, will present “Reporting Sex Trafficking, Genocide and Other Truths of the World” Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Bennett Auditorium on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus. Admission is free, and the public is invited. University Forum may also be viewed on the Southern Miss Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach via IVN in Hardy Hall, room 316.

A highly respected writer and reporter, Kristof has travelled the world covering human rights abuses, social injustices and the ravages of war, and is a frequent contributor on network and cable news programs addressing these topics. He and his spouse, former New York Times correspondent Sheryl WuDunn, have authored four books that include “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” (2009) which reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list. 

In his University Forum talk, Kristof will speak about the global sex trade and the 100,000 young women exploited by it in the United States each year, and how human trafficking and gender inequality deprives the world of the full and fair contributions of half its population.

University Forum Director Dr. Andrew Haley says Kristof’s presentation will “not be an easy story to hear, but one we must confront if we are to have a better world.”

“Nicholas Kristof writes in order to shine a light on injustice. In the past year, he has produced groundbreaking articles on genocide in Myanmar and war in Yemen, but his work has focused not only on the exceptional moment, but also the ways in which inequality, discrimination, and poor educational opportunities impoverish life throughout the globe,” Dr. Haley said.

Dr. Tamara Hurst, an assistant professor in the Southern Miss School of Social Work, said Kristof has a vital message to share about the challenges faced in Mississippi and around the world by women and children, particularly those who live in poverty and who have been victimized by sex traffickers. Dr. Hurst’s research expertise includes the field of child maltreatment, with a specific focus on the needs of survivors of sex trafficking.

“My hope is that University Forum audience members will understand that these challenges are also experienced by women and children in Mississippi,” Dr. Hurst said.  “Our state continues to struggle with creating a unified response to trafficking. In the meantime, victims and survivors of this extreme social injustice are not identified, or go unassisted. I look forward to Mr. Kristof’s lecture, and hope it sparks ideas on how to best address this important topic.” 

University Forum is presented by the Southern Miss Honors College. For more information about University Forum, visit https://www.usm.edu/honors/about-university-forum.