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Pulitzer Prize-winning author and activist visits Loyola

September 17, 2010

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and women's rights activist Sheryl WuDunn will discuss her New York Times best-selling book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” during a presentation at Loyola University New Orleans. The free talk will be held Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m., in Monroe Hall’s Nunemaker Auditorium.

WuDunn’s highly acclaimed novel, which she co-wrote with her husband, Nicholas D. Kristof, explores the many challenges facing women in developing countries. It has been featured on a number of network television programs including, The Oprah Show and The Colbert Report. In conjunction with her promotion of the book, WuDunn is also participating in a multi-media effort to further her call to action to end abuses against women through an online social action campaign, a documentary series and a TV special.

“Here at Loyola we are mission-bound to work for a more just world - and that is precisely what ‘Half the Sky’ is about,” said Karen Reichard, Ph.D., director of Loyola’s Women’s Resource Center. “It introduces us to real women from around the world who have overcome incredible obstacles to empower themselves and their communities.”

Former NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw said of the book, “‘Half the Sky’ is a passionate and persuasive plea to all of us to rise up and say ‘No more!’ to the 17th-century abuses to girls and women in the 21st-century world. This is a book that will pierce your heart and arouse your conscience.”

Following the lecture, Loyola will launch a read-a-thon event, providing copies of her book to attendees in return for their commitment to help raise funds for Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution in Haiti. The organization is committed to providing financial services to the poor and serves more than 45,000 women, while assisting in the reconstruction of homes affected by the horrific 2010 earthquake. People can help raise money for the group through the website FirstGiving, a fundraising hub for nonprofits, where individuals can create an account profile to share with family and friends in order to illicit donations.

“Empowered women make for strong, stable, and economically sound communities. Read the book, come hear Sheryl, join our read-a-thon, and be a force for a more just world,” said Reichard.

WuDunn’s visit is cosponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, Loyola University Community Action Program, Center for International Education, College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, College of Social Sciences, Office of the Provost, First Year Experience and the Biever Lecture Series.

For more information on WuDunn’s visit to Loyola, contact Reichard at 504-864-7881 or reichard@loyno.edu.

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