Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Nomadland’ to keynote virtual symposium on homelessness Friday, Feb. 4

 web 2 4 22 NUWJessica Bruder credit Todd GrayPhoto by Todd Gray

Jessica Bruder

Jessica Bruder, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century,” will give the keynote address at a United Way virtual symposium on homelessness on Friday, Feb. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon.

This will be the second annual United Way “United to End Homelessness” symposium.

General admission event tickets are $30, and a limited number of premium tickets, which include an autographed copy of “Nomadland,” are available for $100. These can be purchased at

Panelists will hold a Q&A session after the talk. They include Rep. Julia Brownley, County CEO Mike Powers; Murtaza Sanwari, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente; Matt Capritto, Realtor and housing champion; and Amy Duganne, director, homelessness initiatives, United Way of Ventura County. 

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Assemblymember will lead a community conversation to close the symposium.

The three-hour, virtual live event is one of many efforts United Way of Ventura County has launched to continue bringing awareness to its United to End Homelessness initiative, honor its mission “to mobilize and inspire the caring power and resources of our community,” and address the shelter crisis in Ventura County. 

 “We’ve seen firsthand the critical importance of working to ensure that everyone has a safe place to call home,” said Eric Harrison, United Way’s president and CEO. “United Way is privileged to have Jessica Bruder, whose tireless work in this area is invaluable, to keynote our second homelessness symposium.”

 Hailed by The New Yorker as “an acute and compassionate observer,” Bruder reports on social injustice, subcultures and the dark underbelly of American capitalism. “Nomadland” — the basis of the Oscar-winning film of the same name — documents the lives of itinerant Americans who travel from job to job out of economic necessity. “Nomadland” follows Bruder’s unforgettable subjects as they clean campground toilets, scan products in warehouses and harvest beets in a scramble to survive, often long past the age at which they expected to retire.

 Bruder has earned a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism and a Deadline Club Award. She has also received support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the New America Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. 

To learn more about the event and United Way of Ventura County, visit




Not a subscriber?  choose your subscription plan.