New York times best-selling author, Fort Wayne native continues PFW’s Omnibus Speaker Series

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne native and New York Times best-selling author took center stage Thursday evening at Purdue Fort Wayne (PFW) for the university’s Omnibus Speaker Series.

The series’ second speaker, Ashely C. Ford, was named Time Out’s New Yorker of the Year in 2017 and Variety’s New Power of New York in 2019. She has written or guest-edited for ELLE Magazine, Slate, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine and the New York Times. After spending some time away from the Summit City, she recenlty moved back to northeast Indiana.

“This is home. You know I think a lot about the fact that, and this is going to be a little bit morbid but, I think a lot about that fact that you come from the dirt and the dirt will return and this is the dirt I came from. Right here, in Fort Wayne and I’m wrapped up in it. I couldn’t be done with me or rid of me if you tried. Because I belong to this place and this place belongs to me,” Ford said.

For her lecture, she discussed her debut memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, a story of reckoning with your past to take hold of your future and of finding love for those you have yet to forgive.

Future schedule:


While in her twenties, Monica Lewinsky unwittingly became a household name and victim of public harassment and bullying. She has since become a social activist in the battle against online harassment – advocating for a safer social media environment. She recently served as a producer for the acclaimed TV series Impeachment: AmericanCrime Story that chronicles her experiences in Washington. She will present “The Price of Shame,” Tuesday, Jan. 25.


Michael Steele broke barriers by becoming Maryland’s Lt. Governor in 2003, its first African American elected to a state-wide office, and again in 2009 when he became the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Currently an analyst for MSNBC, Steele has appeared on Meet the PressFace the Nation, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. He will present “The Political Scene According to Steele,” Thursday, Feb. 17.


Judy Woodruff is a well-respected journalist who has spent five decades reporting for NBC, CNN, and PBS. She has been White House correspondent, chief Washington correspondent, and anchored numerous programs, including the award-winning documentary series Frontline with Judy Woodruff. In 2013, she, along with the late Gwen Ifill, broke boundaries as they became the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast, PBS NewsHour. “A Conversation with Judy Woodruff” takes place Thursday, March 24.

Admission to the Omnibus Speaker Series is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available on-campus at the Schatzlein Box Office, located in the main lobby of the Rhinehart Music Center, starting two weeks before each event. You can also reserve tickets online here.

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