Authors were abounding in Dallas on Tuesday, March 22. While noted historian Dr. Todd Longstaff-Gowan was at the Dallas Museum of Art for Art In Bloom, husband-and-wife Pulitzer Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn were talking with joint gathering of the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School and the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy about the power of books. Here’s a report from the field:

Article appeared in My Sweet Charity on 4/11/16.


Nicholas Kristof, Lisa Curry , Sheryl WuDunn and Nakia Douglas*

Nicholas Kristof, Lisa Curry , Sheryl WuDunn and Nakia Douglas*

Today, Pulitzer Prize winners and best-selling authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn spoke to students at Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, a partner school of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. The two are best known for their books, “Half the Sky” and their work with The New York Times. Both Rangel students along with the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy students listened to the authors, who are also married, on experiences of covering Darfur (Sudan), inequality, sex trafficking, parenting and more. Students asked compelling questions with the first being, “How do we solve these difficult issues?”

Barack Obama's Stevie May*

Barack Obama’s Stevie May*

Kristof replied with this advice:

  1. Find some issue that speaks to you and your friends.
  2. Research the issue.
  3. Gather friends and start a club. The club could be raising funds or writing letters to elected officials. An example would be addressing the 62 million girls around the world who don’t have access to education.

Inequality among women and girls was another topic. “Society will be better off when everyone can reach their highest potential,” remarked WuDunn.

Lynn McBee and Irma Rangel students*

Lynn McBee and Irma Rangel students*

Kristof concluded, “Terrorists know that the biggest threat is a girl with a book. I wish we would fund girls’ education as much as we fund drones,” said Kristof.

“And we need to fund boys with books, too,” WuDunn added.

* Photos provided by Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School