Nicholas Kristof Kicks Off The Winter Park Institute’s Fifth Season

September 10, 2012

Winter Park Institute visiting scholar and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and journalist, Nicholas Kristof, answers first-year students' questions about his bestselling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide during the opening event of the Winter Park Institute's fifth season. (Photo by Judy Watson Tracy)

At the inaugural event of the Winter Park Institute’s fifth season, held in conjunction with Rollins’ Changemaker Campus designation on Thursday, September 6, visiting scholar Nicholas Kristof discussed his work exposing human rights violations and the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

Kristof, a New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and journalist, coauthored the bestselling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide which was this year’s summer reading assignment for first-year students. During his lecture, Kristof described the ways women are empowered to fight back against oppression and improve their lives.

(Photo by Judy Watson Tracy)

“The central moral challenge of the world in the 21st century is gender inequity,” Kristof said. “Women and girls are not the problem­. They are the solution. It has been shown that simply improving the education of women in developing countries has a huge positive impact on their lives and their local economy as well.”

In a separate event, Kristof had the opportunity to speak directly to the Class of 2016 and answer questions about his book. He discussed with the first-year students how they have the ability to take action and be agents of societal change.

“Your generation is the smartest and best prepared to make a difference in the lives of the oppressed across the globe,” Kristof said. “You understand that you can have a transformative effect on society by employing each of your unique individual skills and passions to address a challenge, locally or abroad, that is meaningful to you.”

Kristof explained how giving back and empowering others has a personal reaffirming effect. He compelled students to gain greater perspective by participating in immersion and study abroad opportunities. “When you see the worst of humanity, you also simultaneously see the best of humanity in the people working to make the lives of others better.”

Kristof’s wife and collaborator, Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, will visit Rollins on October 10 to share her views on her work to transform the lives of women and girls around the world. For more information on upcoming Winter Park Institute events and speakers, please visit

Find and tag yourself in the Rollins Facebook album: Changemaker Campus Day & Nicholas Kristof

Justin Braun

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