Junot Diaz | KBIA

Junot Diaz

photo of Junot Diaz
Nina Subin

This week on Intersection, we bring you excerpts from author Junot Díaz's Jan. 22 talk at MU.

Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer prize for his first novel, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” He received a MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowship and co-founded the Voices of Our National Arts Foundation, which holds workshops for writers of color. He is a professor of writing at MIT.

Díaz immigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United State when he was six. In his literary work and activism, he tackles issues including immigration, assimilation and oppression.


His speech was part of the MU Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. event. During the talk, Díaz spoke about white supremacy, the role of artists and the lasting effects of slavery.


MU’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration took place yesterday featuring a speech by Pulitzer Prize winning author and activist Junot Díaz.

The event took place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Jesse Auditorium on the MU campus.

Recent national discourse around issues of immigration is why Díaz is the “right person at the right time,” says MU Professor Stephanie Shonekan, co-chair of the MLK Planning Committee.

Junot Diaz

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and activist Junot Diaz speaks in Columbia Monday night. His visit is part of the annual University of Missouri celebration of Martin Luther King, jr. The event's co-chairs Dr. Stephanie Shonekan and Brian Booton were guests on last week's Thinking Out Loud. They offered a preview of the lecture and explained why bringing Diaz, a Dominican native, to campus now made sense.