Pittsburg State University has announced the next speaker for its Women in Government (WIG) series, Soledad O’Brien. O’Brien is an award winning journalist, news anchor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
O’Brien began her career 1989 as a broadcast reporter. She has since worked for NBC, the Discovery Channel, OXYGEN, PBS, HBO, and hosts a weekly political show, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, which is shown on hundreds of TV stations. She is also a correspondent for the HBO show Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and is a contributing editor for PBS News Hour.
She has also won Emmy awards for her reporting for her documentary series, Black in America and Latino in America.
O’Brien also is the founder of the a foundation, PowHERful, that funds college tuition and mentors young woman with an emphasis on those who are the first in their family to attend college.
President and CEO of the PSU Foundation Kathleen Flannery, which sponsors the series through the support of the Helen S. Boylan Foundation, said O’Brien’s mission to help women obtain higher education degrees will appeal to PSU students.
“In particular she has a passion for providing education to woman, especially to those who are the first in their family to obtain a degree,” Flannery said. “I think that message really resonates with our students, and PSU’s mission to provide access to higher education.”
O’Brien will present “Diversity: On TV, Behind the Scenes, and In Our Lives,” at 7 p.m. on October 23 at the Bicknell Family Center of the Arts. The talk is open to the public and free of charge.
The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session as well as a short opportunity to meet O’Brien. She will also participate earlier in the day in a panel discussion with student leaders from the university.
According to a release by PSU O’Brien was “Born in 1966 in New York as the fifth of six children born to a black Cuban mother and an Australian father of Irish descent, she can claim multiple heritages, and embraces them all.”
Past WIG speakers have included White House Press Correspondent Helen Thomas, Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama Tina Chen, and former First Lady Laura Bush.