Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Enrique’s Journey, to speak at Auburn October 17

September 22, 2017

Sonia NazarioSonia Nazario, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose book Enrique’s Journey became a New York Times bestseller, will speak at Auburn on October 17 in Shelby Center Room 1103. The title of her public lecture is “Understanding immigration and life on both sides of the border.” It begins at 6:00 p.m. CST.

“Immigration in general, and students who are English Language Learners in particular, are too often reduced to simple or scary sound bites for political purposes,” said Jamie Harrison, Assistant Professor of ESOL Education in the College of Education. “Of course these issues are complex, and go to the core of our values as a nation. Sonia Nazario speaks to these issues with passion borne of experience.”

In addition to Enrique’s Journey, which covers the harrowing journey of a young Honduran boy to reunite with his mother in the U.S., Nazario’s stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems — hunger, drug addiction, immigration — and have won several prestigious journalism and book awards.

Her visit to Auburn will include a lecture to the Global Fluency and Awareness class taught by Drs. Giovanna Summerfield and Iulia Pittman in the College of Liberal Arts at 11:00 a.m. in the new Mell Classroom Building, Room 2510. There are 75 students in the class, but seating capacity for 166, so visitors are welcome. Nazario will also join select students and faculty for lunch in Tichenor Hall at 12:30, and conclude with her evening lecture at 6:00 p.m.

Enrique’s Journey Book CoverEnrique’s Journey chronicles a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S. First published as a series in the Los Angeles Times, the series won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. It was turned into a book by Random House and became a national bestseller. Her recent humanitarian efforts to get lawyers for unaccompanied migrant children led to her selection as the 2015 Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award recipient by the Advocates for Human Rights.

In addition to these awards, Nazario was named a 2015 Champion of Children by First Focus and a 2015 Golden Door award winner by HIAS Pennsylvania. In 2016, the American Immigration Council gave her the American Heritage Award. Also in 2016, the Houston Peace & Justice Center honored her with their National Peacemaker Award.

Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and in Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a “trendsetter” by Hispanic Magazine. In 2012 Columbia Journalism Review named Nazario among “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years.”

Nazario began her career at the Wall Street Journal, and later joined the Los Angeles Times. She is now at work on her second book.

Her address will be October 17 at 6:00 p.m. in Shelby Center Room 1103. The event is being sponsored by the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Provost’s Office.

For more information, contact Dr. Jamie Harrison at 334.844.8278, or by email at