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Posted on: August 9, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Sonia Nazario to Kick off 2016 One Book, One Community Program

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Community members are invited to meet Sonia Nazario, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of “Enrique’s Journey,” as she kicks off the 2016 One Book, One Community (OBOC) program with a special visit to the East Lansing-Michigan State University community this August.

The power of “Enrique’s Journey” is its singular look at the personal experience of one boy, who sets out alone from Honduras to find his mother in the United States. Readers are transported into Enrique’s world as he embarks on a harrowing, 2,000-mile journey on the dangerous rooftops of the freight trains speeding north toward the U.S. He makes 11 attempts to reach the U.S. before he is successful, but, as with many migrants, when he arrives, a new struggle begins – the struggle to adapt to life in a foreign land. Nazario has reported and written for 25 years about social justice issues, first at The Wall Street Journal and later at the Los Angeles Times. Along with her Pulitzer Prize, Nazario’s reporting on situations ranging from drug addiction to hunger and immigration has won her numerous prestigious awards and wide professional recognition. She describes herself as a truth teller who “talks for people who can’t talk for themselves.”

This year’s OBOC theme is “Faces of Migration: The Human Experience” and focuses on the emotions and personal experiences of individuals on migration journeys. The narratives selected this year continue to support the OBOC program’s goal of engaging both residents and MSU students in the collective reading of compelling books that deal with present-day, complex issues. In addition to “Enrique’s Journey,” this year’s program also features “City of Thorns” by Ben Rawlence.

There are two opportunities for community members to see Nazario during her visit to the East Lansing-MSU community:

An Evening with Sonia Nazario; Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.
Sonia Nazario will kick off the month-long 2016 OBOC program with a special community talk on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road. Following Nazario’s remarks about her book and her experiences in writing the book, there will be a question-and-answer session moderated by East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows and a book signing.

• Attendees will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is FREE.

*The kickoff will also be streamed live, archived online and available via an on-demand playback at, courtesy of the MSU Alumni Association. The event will also be replayed on East Lansing’s government Ch. 22 (WELG) on Sundays and Mondays at noon and 8 p.m. and will be made available to borrow at the East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road, beginning Sunday, Sept. 4.

MSU Academic Welcome Featuring Sonia Nazario; Monday, Aug. 29 at 9 a.m.
Nazario will speak to the incoming class at the MSU Academic Welcome on Monday, Aug. 29 at 9 a.m. at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, 1 Birch Road. Admission is FREE and the public is welcome.

Other OBOC Events
In addition to the kick-off event, a number of additional events have been planned that tie into the theme of this year’s OBOC program, including a storytellers event, a writing workshop, an artist exhibition and more.

Additionally, author Ben Rawlence will visit the East Lansing-MSU community in September and will speak at a special community event at the East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road, on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. Rawlence’s book, “City of Thorns,” takes readers inside the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya – a City like no other where the citizens survive on rations and luck.

About the Program
The annual OBOC program, sponsored by the City of East Lansing and Michigan State University, encourages the city-university community to read the same book and come together to discuss it in a variety of settings. The 2016 program is supported by Project 60/50, Friends of the East Lansing Public Library and the Michigan Humanities Council.

For additional information, including a list of other OBOC events, please visit

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