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Soledad O’Brien to open ‘York’s Hidden Figures’ series with Sept. 12 talk at York College

August 24, 2018
Soledad O'Brien will kick of the Hidden Figure series with a lecture at York College.

Emmy-Award winner and consistent champion for underrepresented groups Soledad O’Brien will speak at York College’s Waldner Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12. Free tickets to her talk, “Facing History: Why Real Stories of Real People Matter in the Public Record,” can be reserved from at

O’Brien’s talk introduces a yearlong series, “York’s Hidden Figures,” which celebrates the contributions of communities of color and other underserved populations. York College’s Center for Community Engagement is sponsoring this series. Other partners in this work include the YWCA York, the York History Center, the Goodridge Freedom Center, artist Ophelia Chambliss, the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, CGA Law, and the York Bar Foundation.  This is also supported by CGA Law, the College’s Department of History and Political Science, the Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy, and numerous other organizations and individuals. Additional information on the series is available at

O’Brien has given voice to the underserved and disenfranchised through her Emmy-winning reporting and acclaimed documentary series “Black in America” and “Latino in America.” She will draw from her life and career to stimulate thoughtful conversation on the roles people play within their communities and organizations, and to remind audience members why “real stories of real people” can help us write a more inclusive history.

O’Brien is founder and CEO of Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories. 

She has reported on breaking news from around the globe. In 2011, she won an Emmy for "Crisis in Haiti Report" on Haitian orphanages, following the massive earthquake. Her coverage of Hurricane Katrina earned her and CNN a George Foster Peabody award. O’Brien also received another Peabody award for her coverage of the BP Gulf coast Oil Spill. Her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami garnered CNN an Alfred I DuPont award.

“Black in America” and its follow-up “Latino in America” are among CNN’s most successful domestic and international franchises. In 2013, “Latino in America 2,” the story of a Latina boxer who dreams of Olympic glory, won the celebrated Cine Award for documentaries. O’Brien’s documentary “Gay in America: Gary and Tony have a baby,” and “Unwelcome, the Muslims Next Door” also won numerous journalism awards. 

O'Brien was named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists and one of Newsweek magazine’s “10 People who Make America Great.” In 2013, she joined Harvard University as a Distinguished Fellow and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the foundation for The National Archives. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, O'Brien and her husband, Brad, created a foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college.

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