O’Brien found her voice on issues of diversity

Soledad O'Brien speaking

Soledad O’Brien makes a point in her keynote address for MTSU’s celebration of National Women’s History Month March 26 at the Student Union Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Award-winning broadcaster Soledad O’Brien delivered the keynote address in March for MTSU’s National Women’s History Month celebration at the Student Union Ballroom.

O’Brien, best known for her documentary work with CNN, spoke on the topic “Diversity: On TV, Behind the Scenes and In Our Lives.” She explained that being the daughter of a white Australian father and a black Cuban mother, who united at a time when interracial marriage was illegal, gave her an appreciation for standing her ground when challenged.

“I think there’s a special bravery in deciding that you’re going to sit firmly on the right side of history, and my parents were certainly my first examples of forging on in spite of disapproval, in spite of everyone saying ‘it can’t be done, it shouldn’t be done,’ ” she said.

In 2011, O’Brien hosted and produced the acclaimed documentary  “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door,” which looked at the controversy surrounding the construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. “I’ve had opportunities to tell stories of lots of marginalized people, and I think it really is where I began to find my voice as a reporter,” O’Brien said.

In addition to her broadcasting endeavors, O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, have created the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation to help young women gain the experiences, education and resources to overcome barriers to success. The foundation provides scholarships for young girls across the country.

Thank you to MTSU News.

Soledad O'Brien and Dwight Brooks

Soledad O’Brien with Dwight Brooks, director of the MTSU School of Journalism.

 

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