Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Alumna and Pulitzer Prize-winner Mirta Ojito, who credits her community college and Society membership for helping her achieve success, has written a new book to be released by Beacon Press on October 15.
Ojito, an assistant professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, serves as a Trustee of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board.
Her new book, “Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town,” tells the story of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, who was murdered by a group of teenagers as he walked the streets of a quiet Long Island town in a wave of anti-immigrant fever sweeping the United States.
“Through a powerful and true story, Hunting Season’ brings to life how an all-American town confronts immigration,” said fellow Foundation Trustee Wes Moore, author of “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates.” “This book reveals not only the shortcomings of our immigration system, but also reminds us how we might think of each other and how we treat all of our neighbors, whether or not they look like us. This is our human story.”
Recognized as Phi Theta Kappa’s Distinguished Alumna in 2006, Ojito spoke of life in her native Cuba under the Castro regime, and how she and her family came to the United States in 1980 on the Mariel boatlift. Enrolling in Miami Dade College and becoming a member of the Omicron Tau Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa helped her realize her dream of becoming a journalist, she has said.
After graduating from Miami Dade College, Ojito transferred to Florida Atlantic University on a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship and, years later, received her master’s degree from Columbia University. She is author of “Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus,” about her childhood in Cuba, the Mariel boatlift and her life in the United States.
Ojito worked as a reporter for the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald before joining The New York Times, where she shared the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for the series “How Race is Lived in America.”
In February 2013 she was accepted into the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank and publisher.
“The book captures the travails of immigrants in a new land as well as the dangers of discrimination and biases,” Ojito said of her new book. “The kids who killed Marcelo Lucero did not see him as a person. To them, he was a faceless immigrant.”
Learn more Ojito and “Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town” online at http://www.mirtaojito.com/.