The world is witnessing the greatest mass migration since 1945. More than sixty-five million people, about one in every hundred on Earth, have fled their homes. Some are internally displaced; others are refugees who have moved to multiple countries. This talk will discuss the three main causes of this giant human tide: the implosion of the Middle East following the Arab Spring; climate change, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where drought and advancing deserts are pushing people to abandon their homes; and famine, because of which at least twenty million people are currently at risk of starvation, most of them in Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. In his talk, Filkins will take the audience on a tour of these places and discuss ways to address the complex causes of mass migration.
Filkins has been a staff writer with The New Yorker since 2011. From 2000 to 2010, he was a reporter for the New York Times, reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. He has also worked for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times, where he was chief of the paper’s New Delhi bureau. In 2009, he won a Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of Times journalists covering Pakistan and Afghanistan. His book, The Forever War, won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series; the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life; and the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment.