campus news and events

Colby-Sawyer College Hosts Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and Author of 'Half the Sky' Sheryl WuDunn in a Call for Justice for Women Worldwide

NEW LONDON, N.H., Sept. 16, 2011 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, will speak at Colby-Sawyer College on Saturday, Nov. 12, about the need to emancipate women and fight global poverty through unlocking women's power as economic catalysts.

The event takes place at the Sawyer Fine Arts Center at Colby-Sawyer College on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and can be purchased online at . WuDunn will be the keynote speaker for “What Women Want Now: The New Hampshire Women's Caucus,” and reserved seats for her address are included in the registration fee for caucus participants. A book-signing and reception will follow WuDunn's presentation; Half the Sky will be available for purchase at the event.

The New Hampshire Women's Caucus will provide a lively forum for discussing the issues most critical to women in the state, nation and world, and equip participants with education, resources and tools to work toward improving the status of women. The caucus will focus on three major areas: women and the economy; women and health; and global women's issues.

In Half the Sky, WuDunn and her husband and co-author, Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist and reporter, cite three major areas of abuse against women around the world as “the moral outrage of our century”: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence, including honor killings and mass rape; and maternal mortality. WuDunn and Kristof have launched a multimedia effort that includes an online social action campaign aimed at creating a movement to end oppression and empower women and girls through education and economic support.

Carolyn See, book critic for The Washington Post, describes Half the Sky as “a call to arms, a call for help, a call for contributions, but also a call for volunteers.” She writes, “It asks us to open our eyes to this enormous humanitarian issue. It does so with exquisitely crafted prose and sensationally interesting material. I really do think this is one of the most important books I have ever reviewed.”

Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, calls Half the Sky as “An unblinking look at one of the seminal moral challenges of our time.” He says, “This stirring book is at once a savage indictment of gender inequality in the developing world and an inspiring testament to these women's courage, resilience and their struggle for hope and recovery.”

WuDunn and Kristof have co-authored two other best-selling books about Asia: Thunder from the East and China Wakes. The couple won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for their coverage of China, and WuDunn has also been awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the George Polk Award and Overseas Press Club Awards.

In 2010, WuDunn was also recognized for Half the Sky with the Beacon Award from the White House Project, a nonpartisan organization that seeks to advance women's leadership in all communities and sectors. She is a judge for the U.S. State Department's “Secretary's Innovation Award for Women's and Girls' Empowerment.” This fall she is a senior fellow at Yale University, co-teaching a course on global affairs with a specific focus on China's economic development and its global role.

Through Half the Sky and their ongoing work as speakers and writers, WuDunn and Kristof seek to turn the tide of oppression against women into opportunities for people around the world to become catalysts for action and positive change. “We know there are many worthy causes competing for attention in the world,” WuDunn and Kristof write on the book's site, “We focus on this one because this kind of oppression feels transcendent – and so does the opportunity.”

A graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Business School, WuDunn lectures worldwide on economic, political and social topics related to women in the developing world, China and emerging markets.

For tickets to Sheryl WuDunn's lecture and discussion, visit To register for the N.H. Women's Caucus, visit

-Kimberly Swick Slover

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive baccalaureate college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000