Published on Mar 27, 2014
Award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien delivered the keynote address for MTSU's celebration of National Women's History Month.
The award-winning broadcaster best known for her documentary work with CNN delivered the keynote address for MTSU's National Women's History Month celebration at the Student Union Ballroom.
O'Brien spoke of how 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.
O'Brien hosted and produced acclaimed documentary series on diversity for CNN as well, including "Black in America," "Latino in America" and "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," said O'Brien.
At CNN, O'Brien distinguished herself as co-anchor of "American Morning" and "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" and with reports on the London terrorism attacks of 2005, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
O'Brien joined Al-Jazeera America last year as a special correspondent. She and her production company, Starfish Media Group, provide short-form segments to "America Tonight," the network's prime-time current affairs magazine program. Starfish also produces hourlong documentaries for the network.
She said she formed her own company in June 2013 after encountering corporate resistance to the kind of stories that she wanted to report for CNN.
"I wanted to tell those meaningful stories and wade through some of the garbage that sometimes makes up television news," O'Brien said. "I didn't feel particularly courageous. I did feel that I'm honest and that I could live with the fallout from honesty."
With her husband, O'Brien 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.
For information on upcoming National Women's History Month events at MTSU, go to http://www.mtsu.edu/jac/docs/NWHMCale....
O'Brien's visit was made possible by the MTSU Women's History Month Committee, the Black History Month Committee, the Center for Innovation in Media, the Distinguished Lecture Fund, the Department of Electronic Media Communication, the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center, the School of Journalism, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the African-American Studies Program, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the student organization Futuro, the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee, the University Honors College, the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Political Science.