Program Board Speakers Committee, USC Institute for Global Health, and USC Spectrum present 

Turning Oppression into Opportunity: An Evening with Nicholas Kristof

11/5/2012 | 6:30 PM
Campus Center Grand Ballroom

Join Program Board Speakers Committee, USC Institute for Global Health, and  USC Spectrum as they welcome Nicholas Kristof, journalist and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, to the University Park Campus. He is considered to be an authority in the world of opinion journalism and his ability to report original stories from under-represented regions of the world has helped establish Kristof as a vital voice in our society.

Kristof will speak about his movement and book, both titled Half the Sky, in a rousing discussion concerning the need to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide.


Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. Authors Kristof and WuDunn undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet with extraordinary women struggling there. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity and, ultimately, hope. They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad.


Kristof’s columns often focus on poverty, global health, and gender issues. His work was influential on the philanthropic decisions of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and his articles are revered by many important figures of our society, such as former U.S. president Bill Clinton, actress/humanitarian Mia Farrow, and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin.

Kristof grew up in Oregon and later became a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard College. While at Harvard, he studied Government and wrote for The Harvard Crimson, fostering an interest in journalism. He went on to earn a law degree from Magdalen College at Oxford, eventually joining The New York Times in 1984.

Kristof won his first Pulitzer Prize, for International Reporting, for his reporting (alongside his wife, journalist Sheryl WuDunn) on the pro-democracy student movement and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. He was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize, for Commentary, for his “deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world,” in 2006. In total, Kristof has been a Pulitzer finalist six times.

He is well known for his early reports and articles on the conflict in Darfur, as well as his detailed accounts of female oppression documented in his book, co-authored with his wife, called Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. He is also known for his criticism of the Iraq War and his writing on the affairs of the United States Government. Kristof’s reporting on these international topics enriches his articles beyond mere calls to action. In addition, he is also very critical of the anti-sweatshop movement and supports Israeli and U.S. negotiation with Hamas.