Author Valeria Luiselli delivers keynote lecture of University Diversity Summit

Elizabeth Lagerback, Contributing Writer

Author Valeria Luiselli gave the keynote address for the University’s annual Diversity Summit on March 26. The address was held in the Leanne Freas Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building. The keynote address, as well as the full Diversity Summit, was sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University.


The Diversity Summit events cover many topics that aim to bring University students together, facilitate conversation, and educate a variety of people on different issues related to diversity. Some of the topics the events address include immigration, art, international students at the University, identity, studying abroad, antisemitism, and much more. The theme of the 2019 Diversity Summit was “National Origins.”


Luiselli has won many awards, including the “Los Angeles Times” book prize and the American Book award. She is also an honoree for the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” award and has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize.


She writes fiction, nonfiction, and essays and many of her books were for sale at the event. She wrote the collection of essays called “Sidewalks,” as well as the books “Faces in the Crowd,” “The Story of My Teeth,” and “Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions.” Her most recent book, “Lost Children Archive,” came out in 2019.


Luiselli’s books and talks discuss many current events. She said she most wants “anyone who thinks that ‘Make America Great Again’ is not a fascist slogan” to read her books. During her lecture, she talked about diversity and how the topic relates to her writing and her life, as well as the lives of students at the University.


As part of the Diversity Summit, there was also an open breakfast discussion with Luiselli on March 27 in the Walls Lounge of the Elaine Langone Center. Students, faculty, and staff were all invited to join. The discussion covered Luiselli’s keynote speech, as well as her books.


The Diversity Summit went from March 26-27 and featured a variety of events. “I am very excited to attend some of these events after the keynote speech was so great,” Jack Magarelli ’22 said.


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