Award-winning documentary photographer Alison Wright kicked off the year's weekly Society of Skeptics lectures by addressing the Blair community on Tuesday, September 13. Ms. Wright has spent more than two decades traveling the globe as a photojournalist, documenting cultures through a lens of human rights issues.
At the first Skeptics event of the 2016-2017 academic year, Ms. Wright’s presentation focused on her recent work to spotlight working women in developing countries. Following her address, the audience engaged in a question-and-answer session with the accomplished photographer. To watch a video of her presentation, click "play" below.
In her previous Skeptics engagements in 2013 and 2014, Ms. Wright shared her many experiences of traveling abroad to capture the world’s most remote regions on film. Her photographs have been prominently featured in numerous publications, including National Geographic, Time, Forbes, O: The Oprah Magazine and The New York Times.
She has also published several books of photography including The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile, The Dalai Lama: A Simple Monk and Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World. Ms. Wright was named National Geographic Traveler of the Year, is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography and is a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award.
Ms. Wright was gravely injured in a bus accident in Laos in 2000, and she documented her long rehabilitation and struggle to regain her life in Learning to Breathe: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival. This experience, and her extensive work as a photographer for humanitarian organizations including UNICEF, CARE, ILO, Save the Children and many others, led her to establish the Faces of Hope Fund. This nonprofit organization globally supports women and children’s rights by creating visual awareness and donating directly to grass-roots organizations that help to sustain them. Ms. Wright’s work through Faces of Hope has impacted women and children in Tibet, India, Haiti, Laos and other impoverished areas.
Ms. Wright is a graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism, and she completed her master’s degree in visual anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley.
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65 established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a list of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.