Mirta Ojito

Mirta Ojito is an award-winning journalist and author who began her career in South Florida at The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald after earning a bachelor's degree in communication from Florida Atlantic University in 1986.

Ms.Ojito joined the staff of The New York Times in 1996; she was a member of the Times' reporting team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for national reporting with a series titled "How Race is Lived in America." In 1999, she won a Distinguished Writing Award for foreign reporting from the American Society of Newspaper Editors for a series of stories about life in Cuba, her childhood home, which she had left at the age of 16 during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Her first book, Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus, was published in 2005 by The Penguin Press.

Ms. Ojito's work has been included in several anthologies, including To Mend the World: Women Reflect on 9/11 (White Pine Press, 2002), Written into History: Pulitzer Prize Reporting of the Twentieth Century from The New York Times (Henry Holt and Co., 2001), By Heart/De Memoria (Temple University Press, 2003) How Race is Lived in America (Times Books/Henry Holt and Co., 2001), and The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity (Columbia University Press, 2006).

Ms. Ojito, who earned her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, has taught journalism at New York University, Columbia University and the University of Miami. In January of 2006, she joined the full-time faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University as an assistant professor.

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Mirta Ojito: Still firmly in my mother’s grip

It was dark when I woke up. Dark and quiet, except for the waves lapping on the side of the boat, and the humming of a motor, somewhere behind me, though, in the darkness and after hours of constant retching, it was hard to know what was up or down, behind or in front of me.