Monday, May 23, 2016

Soledad Speaks at Vanderbilt University

Soledad O’Brien to seniors: Finding your passion can take time

Finding the inspiration to live a meaningful life is more a “slow, chip-away-at-it process” than a thunderclap of revelation, Senior Day speaker Soledad O’Brien told Vanderbilt’s Class of 2016 during her address.

Mixing anecdotes about her parents’ courtship and marriage with memories of her early career, O’Brien urged graduating seniors to disregard naysayers like those who told her black mother and white father not to marry and have children in segregated 1950s and ’60s Baltimore.

People would spit on the couple as they walked down the street with O’Brien’s two older sisters, she said. Her mother’s answer? “’We knew America was better than that, and we knew we had a part in making it better.’

“That was her philosophy,” O’Brien said.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

“The War Comes Home,” Comes to Select U.S. Cinemas May 24

“Soledad O’Brien Presents: The War Comes Home - The New Battlefront” is a one-time-only event that features a screening of “The War Comes Home,” a true story that follows two veterans of the Iraq war on the brink of suicide as they turn to a five-day emotional boot camp for a life-changing recovery.

Following the screening, Soledad O’Brien gathers community leaders, experts on veterans' affairs and celebrity advocates to talk about how our country is serving – and not serving – our veterans as they face the challenges of PTSD, family reintegration and unemployment.

Fathom Events and Starfish Media Group present this event at select U.S. movie theaters on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. local time.

“This is an important conversation because it ultimately lets people that have not ever been in the military world slowly get light into our world and to create this important dialog,” said Army-veteran and actor J.R. Martinez.

“The War Comes Home” follows two men on a real-time journey as they confront their post-war demons through meditation, team building exercises and therapeutic healing. The exclusive panel discussion that follows takes the conversation over veterans’ issues one step further as the panelists explore the challenges of assimilation and look for solutions. It includes exclusive one-on-one interviews with actor-director Peter Berg and army-veteran and actor J.R. Martinez.

“This event presents a rare opportunity to shine a light on veterans’ issues with an up-close and personal exploration of those returning from war and how we can better understand them and assist them in their healing process,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh. “We ask audiences around the nation to join us in supporting our vets and raising awareness of this national issue.”

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to share our production ‘The War Comes Home’ with a new audience,” said Soledad O’Brien, CEO Starfish Media Group. "The accompanying panel discussion takes the conversation further, providing concrete answers on how we can better serve our nation’s veterans.”

Tickets for “Soledad O’Brien Presents: The War Comes Home - The New Battlefront” can be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 300 movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Soledad O'brien: The War Comes Home  - view trailer

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Soledad O’Brien to Receive Honorary Degrees at 2016 Commencement

Two eminent Americans, former US Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, will receive honorary degrees at Stony Brook University’s 56th annual Commencement ceremony, to be held May 20, 2016. The conferral of these degrees underscores the University’s ongoing commitment to diversity, social justice and public service.

O’Brien is a broadcast journalist, news anchor, documentarian, executive producer and philanthropist who has become a fixture in global news.

Maria de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien was raised in St. James, New York, a community only a few miles from the Stony Brook Campus. She and her five siblings all attended Harvard University. Soon after O’Brien graduated, she began her reporting career in Boston. In 1991, she joined NBC News, and by 1997, she was anchoring programs such as Weekend Today. In 2003, she joined CNN, where she distinguished herself by reporting from the scene of such stories as the London terrorism attacks in 2005, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

In 2011, O’Brien won her first Emmy Award for “Crisis in Haiti.” She was also a member of the teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for coverage of the British oil petroleum spill and of Katrina. She has also received accolades for her recent noteworthy documentaries, including Black in America: The New Promised Land; Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11; and Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door.

After witnessing the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, began privately awarding scholarships to young women who lacked essential resources to succeed. As their efforts grew, they formed the Starfish Foundation to expand their reach. Today, the foundation provides scholarships to disadvantaged young women in underserved communities. To date, they have provided support to 28 young women.

O’Brien’s ties to Stony Brook University run deep. Her father, Edward O’Brien, is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; he has been on the faculty since 1961. She has participated in the School of Journalism’s “My Life As…” series, discussing her life as a CNN Anchor, and in 2015 she brought her Black in America tour, which focused on key issues facing minority communities today, to campus.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Soledad O’Brien At Disrupt NY 2016

Broadcast journalist and media production startup founder Soledad O’Brien will be on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC (May 9-11)  to talk about what it takes to run a media startup in this current digitally-driven environment and how she picks which subjects to focus on.

O’Brien is a powerhouse of a TV personality and has built a solid career over the last 25+ years as a television anchor, producer and correspondent for CNN, HBO, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America and many other prestigious outlets.

On top of that, she has developed a growing roster of news networks through Starfish Media Group, her startup production company focusing on character-driven documentary style storytelling such as the series “Black in America.”  O’Brien founded Starfish Media Group in 2013 after leaving her post as the anchor of CNN’s morning news program Starting Point.

The Emmy award-winning anchor turned media mogul brings a rich background to storytelling as the daughter of Afro-Cuban and Australian immigrant parents and seeks out the untold and complex stories of diversity and social strife in America.

She also runs the Starfish Foundation, a non-profit supporting the college education and mentorship of young women from disadvantaged environments.

O’Brien joins Disrupt NY 2016 speakers, actor and co-founder of The List B.J. Novak, The Honest Company’s Jessica Alba, and Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley.

Tickets are available at


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Batman, Superman and Soledad

Did you catch Soledad O'Brien as Soledad O'Brien in the new Batman v Superman movie?

Soledad, Anderson Cooper and other journalists show up as part of the media coverage of the epic battle in the current big box-office film.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Soledad O’Brien Took Part in Historic Cuba Trip With President Obama


Soledad O’Brien first visited Cuba in 1998, when she covered Pope John Paul II’s historic trip there for NBC News.

She has returned to the island many times since, but usually as journalist. Now, she is returning this time to moderate separate panels with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on their historic first visit.

The White House asked Soledad, whose mother's roots are in Cuba, to moderate two events. On Monday, the First Lady met with Cuban teenage girls, some of whom have studied in the United States.

Later in the day, O’Brien moderated a panel with President Obama and entrepreneurs, in which Americans who have started their own business will share advice to their Cuban counterparts.

Soledad travels to Cuba every two years to visit family. Her mother grew up in poverty and left Cuba in the 1950s, before Fidel Castro came to power. Her mother finally got to return with O’Brien on a trip to Cuba about 10 years ago.

This trip, she is bringing her 15-year-old and 14-year-old daughters and 11-year-old twin boys. It is the first time they will be able to meet their relatives and get a sense of what life is like for Cuban teenagers.