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UNT Insider | February 2009 Issue | Women of Color Conference

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UNT to present Women of Color Conference featuring Pulitzer Prize winner Sonia Nazario

From a UNT News Service Press Release


Journalist Sonia Nazario, who won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for "Enrique's Journey," a Los Angeles Times series of articles, will be the keynote speaker at UNT's annual Women of Color Conference March 27 and 28.


The conference is being presented by the UNT Multicultural Center and Women's Center for the 10th year. Conference sessions are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 27 and from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. March 28 in the Silver Eagle Suite on the third level of UNT's University Union.


The conference registration fee for the general public is $50. Registration is online at https://www.unt.edu:8443/edo/MulticulturalCenter/UNTWomen'sCenter.htm. UNT students, faculty and staff members may attend for free, but still must register online. The deadline for registering is March 21.


Nazario's visit to UNT is sponsored by the Women's Studies program, the Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity and the Mayborn Graduate School of Journalism. Her lecture begins at 8 p.m. in the Lyceum on the third level of UNT's University Union. A book signing will follow.


Nazario's lecture will be open to those not attending the conference. Tickets are $10 for the general public and may be reserved by calling the University Union information desk at 940-565-3805. Tickets are free to UNT students, faculty and staff members. All tickets must be picked up at the information desk by 5 p.m. March 28.


Nazario will discuss "Enrique's Journey," which won the George Polk Award for International Reporting, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall Excellence and other awards in addition to the Pulitzer Prize. "Enrique's Journey" was published as a book in 2006 and has become required reading for incoming freshmen at dozens of colleges, universities and high schools. It is being adapted into a movie by Lifetime.


At age 5, Enrique was separated from his mother after she left Honduras to work in the United States. She sends money back home and calls him regularly, promising to return someday, but Enrique believes he will never see her again. After 11 years apart from his mother, Enrique set off alone, making the dangerous and illegal trek up the length of Mexico by clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains and evading Mexican police and immigration authorities.


Sandra Spencer, director of UNT Women's Studies, says the office wanted to bring Nazario to campus because "Enrique's Journey" focuses on "the enormous challenges faced by poor women and their families, and how the needs of women living on the margins are so often overlooked by society."


Nazario, a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., and the University of California at Berkeley, began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she reported from the Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami and New York bureaus. She joined the Los Angeles Times staff in 1993. In 1998, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her series of articles on children with drug-addicted parents.


Other speakers for the Women of Color Conference are Jan Langbein, senior policy advisor to the director of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women. Langbein will discuss "When Home is OUT of Balance Domestic Violence: It's All About Power and Control" at 9 a.m. March 27.


Fran Harris, who played on the Houston Comets Women's National Basketball Association championship team in 1997 after leading the University of Texas at Austin women's basketball team to a NCAA title, will speak at 1:30 p.m. March 27 (Friday). The title of her presentation is "Are You Feasting at Life's Buffet Or Settling for the Crumbs?"


The first 100 members of the general public to register for the conference will receive autographed copies of Harris' book, "No More Excuses: A Young Woman's Guide to Seizing the Life She Deserves."


Author and educator Melodye Van Putten, chief executive officer of Black History Works Inc., will be the featured speaker at 9 a.m. March 28. Her presentation is titled "Kephra: Becoming." Black History Works creates workshops that are designed to expose children ages 5 to 16 to the history and culture of global African peoples and thus increase children's self-esteem, motivation and pride in their own heritage.


Conference participants may attend sessions on mentoring, work and family life and women and money, among other topics. The conference will also offer chair massages, yoga and aromatherapy workshops and a networking lunch.


For more information, contact the UNT Multicultural Center at 940-369-7297.


What: "Women Naturally Balancing It All" The annual Women of Color Conference at the University of North Texas, presented by the Multicultural Center and Women's Center.


Conference will close with a lecture by author Sonia Nazario, who won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for "Enrique's Journey," a series of articles that appeared in the Los Angeles Times and was adapted into a book. The lecture, open to those not attending the conference as well as conference attendees, is sponsored by UNT Women's Studies, the Division of Equity and Diversity and the Mayborn Graduate School of Journalism.


When: Conference sessions: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 27 (Friday) and 9 a.m-3:15 p.m. March 28 (Saturday). Nazario speaks at 8 p.m. March 28 (Saturday).


Where: Conference sessions in the Silver Eagle Suite on the third level of UNT's University Union, which is located one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets. Nazario's lecture in the Lyceum on the third level of the University Union.


Cost: $50 for general public for all conference sessions and Nazario's lecture. Conference sessions and lecture are free for UNT students, faculty and staff members, but registration is required. Register online at https://www.unt.edu:8443/edo/MulticulturalCenter/UNTWomen'sCenter.htm. Deadline for registering is March 21 (Saturday).


Tickets to Nazario's lecture only are $10 for the general public and free for UNT students, faculty and staff members. Tickets can be reserved by calling the University Union information desk at 940-565-3805. All tickets must be picked up at the desk by 5 p.m. March 28 (Saturday).


Contact: UNT Multicultural Center at 940-369-7297


Nancy Kolsti with UNT News Service can be reached at nkolsti@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:


February 2009

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