‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author J.D. Vance giving virtual talk at NDSU

J.D. Vance, author of the New York Times best-seller “Hillbilly Elegy,” will give a virtual presentation to North Dakota State University on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m. on Zoom.

The event is free and open to the public, though attendees must register on Zoom. Registration is available at ndsu.edu/challeyinstitute/events

Vance’s memoir “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” tells the true story of upward mobility. Vance examines the social, regional and class decline of white working-class Americans and relates his family’s experience trying to escape poverty.

Released in 2016, “Hillbilly Elegy” provides an eye-opening perspective on the rise of political populism. Netflix recently released a film adaption of “Hillbilly Elegy” directed by Ron Howard and starring Amy Adams, Glenn Close and Gabriel Basso.

The event is part of the Menard Family Distinguished Speaker Series at the Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth. The Menard Family Distinguished Speaker Series invites world thought leaders to share their ideas with the NDSU community on big questions that explore ways to improve the human condition and create economic opportunity.

“J.D. Vance’s deeply personal story shows the hidden struggles of growing up in poverty in Greater Appalachia,” said John Bitzan, Menard Family Director of the Challey Institute. “He offers important insights for how we can work toward a society that enables more people to advance while also providing a safety net for those truly in need.”

Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middleton, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after high school and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A graduate of Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he is an investor at a leading venture capital firm and a frequent media commentator.

The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth aims to advance understanding in the areas of innovation, trade and institutions to identify policies and solutions that enhance economic growth and opportunity. Learn more at www.ndsu.edu/challeyinstitute

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