Award-winning activists to speak on campus in April

Rebecca Edwards

Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Sonia Nazario and chemist, author and Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher are coming together in conversation this April at Macalester’s Kagin Ballroom.

Nazario received national acclaim for her coverage of youth social issues for The Los Angeles Times, including hunger in California schools; daily life for the children of drug addicts; and the experience of Latin American youth who immigrate to join their parents in the U.S., for which she won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Features Writing.

Auerbacher has won several awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, for her autobiographical writing on the three years she spent in Terezin concentration camp in the former Czechoslovakia from age seven to age 10 and her experience immigrating to the United States thereafter.

The two will be speaking on Thursday, April 4, in an event organized by Macalester’s Lectures Coordination Board (LCB). According to LCB representative Amy Pascoe ’19, Nazario and Auerbacher will be discussing human rights, activism and resilience—three themes highly relevant to their writing.

“A function of this board is to bring speakers to campus who can jumpstart conversations among students even after the speakers have left,” Pascoe said. “Obviously there was going to be a lot of benefit in having a Holocaust survivor come to campus right now, but that’s also a topic that’s in a really weird position right now because in some ways we feel distanced from it.

“I think it really helps to have someone who’s trained, as a journalist, to ask questions and counter it with other situations that are happening right now,” she continued. “We thought that could really bring depth and clarity to this discussion of remembrance of not only the Holocaust, but of what it means to be a survivor of that event.”

The booking fee for the two speakers was about $17,500 in total, Pascoe said. That number is slightly down from last semester’s contract fee for Tarana Burke’s appearance, which was approximately $25,000.

Tickets will be available to students starting March 25 and for staff and faculty beginning April 1.