Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof discusses student empowerment.


Hayley Canal

Nicholas Kristof talking at the Schaefer Center on Monday night. He is a Pulitzer Prize-columnist winner for the New York Times.

Rachel Greenland, Reporter

Story by Rachel Greenland, News Reporter. 

Photo by Hayley Canal, Staff Photographer

Photo Caption: Nicholas Kristof talking at the Schaefer Center on Monday night. He is a Pulitzer Prize-columnist winner for the New York Times.

Nicholas Kristof, also known as “the reporter’s reporter,” delivered a speech entitled “Why Students Should Care About the World & Change It” to Appalachian students and faculty at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Monday night.

This two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times has encountered warlords, covered genocide and witnessed an immense amount of war. He still maintains the belief that “side-by-side with the worst, usually you find the best.

Kristof discussed inequality in opportunity and bridging the empathy gap. He shared how he has personally witnessed these global issues and the statistics proving them, but reminded the audience of the areas of hope in each situation.

“With the bridging of the empathy gap, I had never thought about inequality in that way, and he made it very easy to understand,” journalism professor Newly Paul said.

His ability to stay optimistic and hopeful throughout talking to victims of abuse and other dire issues was incredible, Paul said.

The gap of empathy can be filled through education about issues around the globe, Kristof said. He encouraged the audience to travel abroad and to eliminate the sense of alienation by surrounding themselves with people that are different than them.

Individual efforts may seem like a drop in a bucket, but we can fill buckets together, Kristof said.

“You don’t have to solve the problems of the world, but find a bucket that you care about, that you believe in, and add a few drops to it, and that could be transformative to the people you help,” Kristof said.

Members of the audience also commented on Kristof’s discussion of empowering women and sex trafficking in addition to his analogy of the drop in bucket.

“It was really cool how he had a focus on empowering women and girls,” Holly Gallagher, a sophomore political science major who has read several of Kristof’s columns said. “He is a man and not many men in his field would have that kind of focus.”

Kristof said he encouraged students to serve where they are passionate together, like the women’s march or service projects, because it all adds up to make a difference.

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