Friday, January 20, 2017

Soledad O’Brien Discusses Service at MLK Lecture at UNC

Photo by Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill
Soledad OĆ­Brien concluded her keynote address at the MLK Celebration Lecture and Awards Ceremony at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by asking the audience, “What are you going to do?”

Her talk was interspersed with clips from her Latino in America and Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11 documentaries highlighting how “uncomfortable conversations” could and should be opened and discussed. Her talk focused on the opportunity each and every individual has to spark social change.

“Every step forward toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle. What will be my service? To tell the stories of all Americans — whether they look like me or not, whether they agree with me or not — and seek to understand them and accurately reflect their stories.”

As with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom she described as a regular man who decided he would do great things, “That means for the rest of us that we have that same opportunity,’’ said O’Brien.

O’Brien said her role in sparking social change is to continue to tell — and most importantly listen to — people’s stories.

In 2013, O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company dedicated to uncovering and producing stories that challenge the issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity through personal narratives. She originated the documentary series, In America, which included Black in America and Latino in America and is still produced by her production company.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A PowHERful Summit with Soledad O'Brien

Interview with Emmy-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien.
Her Starfish Foundation brought one of its "PowHERful Summit"
gatherings for young women to St. Paul's St. Catherine University in 2016.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Soledad O’Brien: Sharing Stories That Fly Under the Radar

On this martin Luther King, Jr. day, we share this talk with Soledad O’Brien at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was honored with a 2016 Freedom Award, sponsored by FedEx.

O’Brien’s production company, Starfish Media Group, shares stories about people through their successes and struggles — stories she notes haven’t always received media attention in the past.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Soledad O'Brien, Working Mom

Soledad with her husband, Brad Raymond, and Sofia Elizabeth (2000), Cecilia (2002);
Twins, Charlie, and Jackson (2004)

Soledad O’Brien told Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. that growing up in Smithtown, a predominantly white town on Long Island, NY, her mixed race heritage – her mother’s Afro-Cuban roots and her father’s Irish Australian roots – made it difficult to fit in. Soledad credits her parents with giving her the strength to overcome discrimination.

Soledad O'Brien is herself in an interracial marriage and the mother of four children.

In an interview, she was asked about learning sign language after she found out one of her twins, Jackson, had a hearing problem.
No. It’s so hard. I’m terrible at sign language. It turns out Jackson is a very good lip reader and so it [diminished the need] to learn sign language. He’s great at sign language but he doesn’t use it a lot. He has a lot of language because he lost his hearing late in life — he was 7. We try to get him to read lips more because there aren’t that many people who know sign language. I’m just so slow. [Then she demonstrated.] Sloooow, and I’ve never ­gotten faster.

Does Soledad think any of her children may want to follow her into working in television?

I don’t think a single one. The better question is how many of my nieces and nephews. They don’t really live it. It’s Aww, auntie has a cool job. My children have zero interest. Now they’re young, so I don’t know that they have interest in careers, unless going to the mall is a career. I think my nieces who are now in their early 20s have really started reaching out; two of them work in journalism. My kids are just too little. [The eldest just turned 16] and her conversation is all around, Can I drive? Can I drive your car? How late can I drive? Can I have some money so I can go do something when I drive?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Consider a Donation to the Starfish Foundation


Young women in America need your help - Please donate to our foundation!

Our program works. Click below to see what some of our Scholars are up to.

Tierra just graduated from Berkeley Law.
Sheba Turk is a top news anchor in New Orleans.
Tassion completed her Junior year at Dillard.
Ariana graduated Smith and is kicking butt in her new career.

There are so many more young women to reach in 2017!

Donate today and help young women in America fulfill the promise of their potential.

Soledad and Brad

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Starfish Foundation

The Starfish Foundation, started by Soledad O'Brien and her husband Brad, helps young women go to college, graduate, and give back to their communities. They recently sent out a request for donations to support their dreams.

Dear Friends:

Help us lift up girls in America - donate to the Starfish Foundation

Every dollar brings mentoring, career counseling and financial assistance to thousands of young women across the country.

Young women like...

Tierra who just graduated from Berkeley LawSheba Turk, a top news anchor in New OrlenasTassion, a Senior at Dillard and Ariana, who graduated Smith and is kicking butt in her new career.

There are so many more future leaders to reach in 2017! 

Donate today and help young women in America fulfill the promise of their potential. 

Soledad & Brad