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CEW Co-Sponsors Grand Rapids Lecture by Nicholas Kristof
With the Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe Fund, CEW is committed to supporting cross-cultural dialogues. Through this fund, CEW co-sponsored Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist, as a speaker in the Grand Rapids Community College Diversity Lecture Series. His talk in Grand Rapids addressed the subject of worldwide gender violence and inequality, as outlined in his book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women. Written together with Sheryl WuDunn (Kristof's wife), Half the Sky calls for a human rights movement to address issues such as rape, trafficking, genital mutilation, and slavery to create economic and personal empowerment of women. (See CEW Newsletter Fall 2010 for an extensive review of Half the Sky.)
Kristof has built a reputation for reporting on and addressing issues of violence and poverty in developing countries. He is known for his critique of the invasion of Iraq and for his intensive reporting and writing about Sudan and Darfur - the first to refer to Sudan's actions in Darfur as genocide. A Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar, Kristof has worked at the New York Times as a reporter, columnist, and associate managing editor.
CEW Leadership Counsil Member Emerita Menakka Bailey created the Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe Fund in honor of her mother, who continues to dedicate her life to advancing women's lives and promoting cross-cultural dialogue. This fund enhances CEW's ability to sponsor speakers such as Nicholas Kristof.