Award-winning journalist, documentarian, entrepreneur and philanthropist Soledad O’Brien will deliver the University of Oklahoma’s Commencement address at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, in The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, 180 W. Brooks St.
Among her many awards, O’Brien’s coverage of race issues won two Emmys, and she received a third for her reporting on the 2012 presidential election. Her coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill earned George Foster Peabody Awards. CNN received an Alfred I. DuPont Award for her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami. The docuseries Latino in America, of which she was the host, received the UNITY: Journalists of Color Award in 2010.
She is the author of two books, The Next Big Story, her memoir; and Latino in America, the companion book to the CNN documentary series Latino in America.
Currently, O’Brien hosts Matter of Fact, airing locally on the weekends, and is a member of both the National Association of Black Journalists and Hispanic Journalists.
O’Brien attended Harvard University from 1984 to 1988, left to work at WBZ-TV in Boston, then returned to Harvard in 2000 to complete her degree while pregnant with her first child.
O’Brien is the daughter of immigrants, with her father hailing from Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, and her mother from Havana, Cuba.
In 2011, O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, created the PowHERful Foundation, which helps young women get to and through college through financial assistance, mentorship and services for young women from low-income backgrounds.