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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Soledad with Sebastian, a 13 year-old Canadian warmblood

Monday, November 7, 2016

Soledad O'Brien on Mentoring

Soledad O’Brien has mentored young women throughout her years in journalism. Now, through her scholarships and her Starfish Foundation, she is able to reach even more aspiring journalists across the country. She is especially focused on empowering Black and Latino youth to continue their education whether that includes journalism or not.
"When I was in my very first job in TV news, it didn’t even occur to me to get a mentor. I was 21. I was constantly busy and living in the moment. And, like a lot of people, I thought of it as a formal, stuffy relationship with someone at work.

But very quickly, my boss stepped up to be my mentor. She made me start thinking about my long term goals. She made me look at my job as a career, even a calling. It worked. I began working, not to fulfill the demands of the day, but for the long haul. I didn’t just want to intern at a local TV station, make some extra money and fulfill my curiosity about the profession. I wanted to become a journalist and I had a plan as to how to get there."
O'Brien believes that we need to change how people think about different types of mentorships. "There are so many different ways to be mentored. Mentors can be there just to help you through a moment. I’ve had mentors who jumped in for a season to support and guide me. You might just need to pick someone’s brain, or you might have a relationship with someone that lasts for decades."

Some of her advice about mentoring:
  • The next time you need help with something, find the person who’s doing what you want to do. 
  • Have a diverse range of people who can advise you on different aspects of your life. 
  • Surround yourself with people who tell you that you can, not people who tell you that you can’t, or that you shouldn’t. Seek out those people and make them your mentor. Period.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Two Tales of Interracial Couples in the 1950s

Loving is a film about the outlawed marriage between a black woman and a white man in 1958 Virginia. It will open on November 4, but that story is one that journalist Soledad O'Brien has known since childhood. She knows the story because her Afro-Cuban mother and Irish-Australian father endured much of the same hostility.

Soledad's parents, both immigrants, met at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland in 1958 and married in 1959. Interracial marriage was illegal in Maryland then, so the couple was married in Washington, D.C. As in the film, it was a time when an interracial couple couldn't get served in restaurants together and people were very intentionally trying to keep interracial couples apart.

In a story from The Hollywood Reporter, Soledad tells about her parents story.

"My older sisters were born in Maryland, which, like Virginia, was under an anti-miscegenation law, and my mom told me people would spit on them as they walked down the street. Even when my family moved to New York, where I was born, it was hard to get housing. But my parents never talked about that while we grew up. They didn't want that to frame how we thought about our community. They were quiet activists but felt they were on the right side of history."

Soledad says that she is hoping to watch Loving with her dad but that her parents (who will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary in December) live more in today than in the past.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Babies Behind Bars

Soledad O'Brien produced a documentary, Babies Behind Bars about the ten percent of women entering prison who are pregnant. Scores of others have children left behind.

Soledad explores solutions to America’s broken prison families, including a program at Washington Corrections Center for Women that keeps mothers and babies together while they both grow — in their separate ways. Could this be the answer to the problem of broken families?

Soledad also gave this TEDx talk on the subject.

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who founded the Starfish Media Group in 2013. SMG is a multi-platform media production and distribution company, dedicated to human stories that sometimes tackle divisive social issues.

O’Brien was previously an anchor for CNN, where she hosted two shows, numerous specials, covered breaking news around the globe, and created the documentary series In America. O’Brien and SMG continue to produce Black in America for CNN. She also reports and produces documentaries and segments for Al Jazeera America, HBO Real Sports, National Geographic and others.