Monday, September 18, 2017

Empowering Change in Mobile, Alabama

In Mobile, Alabama,  the Empowering Change initiative is a movement to create a community in which all persons are welcomed, included, valued, respected and empowered to thrive and succeed.

One of their efforts will occur on September 25 with a sold-out event event moderated by Soledad O’Brien. O’Brien is an award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, producer and philanthropist and the new host of Sunday morning syndicated political show, Matter of Fact. A free dinner and discussion will give the community a chance to ask questions about this transforming initiative.

According to the mission statement, the idea of this initiative is to bring the community together in service so that we may begin to see each other as equals. The inclusive opportunities for community service are in hopes of achieving this. By serving together, the founders of the initiative hope that this will aid in living together as well.

To find out more about this initiative or to sign up for community interaction events, visit

Friday, September 15, 2017

Soledad O'Brien Will Keynote YWCA Annual LeaderLuncheon

Soledad O’Brien, the award winning journalist, documentarian, entrepreneur & philanthropist, will give the keynote address at the 29th Annual YWCA LeaderLuncheon Friday September 29, 2017 in Utah.

1,000+ community members and leaders will celebrate and hopefully be inspired by Soledad, a champion of diversity.

O'Brien has given voice to the underserved and disenfranchised through her work on projects such as the Emmy-winning reporting and acclaimed documentary series, “Black in America” and “Latino in America.”

She has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera America, and HBO and is currently the anchor for the syndicated Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.

Outstanding Achievement Awards will also be given at the YWCA LeaderLuncheon to five remarkable women who have demonstrated their commitment to advancing the well-being of Utah women and girls, and whose work and achievements exemplify the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?

The special, Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? premieres Sunday, September 24 at 8 p.m. EST on FOX.

Soledad O’Brien and Ice-T are hosting the investigative special that explores the deaths of legendary rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.

The two-hour special will explore the details surrounding the cases of the rap rivals and former friends who were gunned down within months of each other in the late 1990s. Shakur was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on September 13, 1996. Smalls, born Christopher George Latore Wallace, was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. It has been 20 years since their murders, and no one has been held accountable.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Your Mom’s Food with Soledad O’Brien

Baby Soledad with her Mom
On The Sporkful podcast mini-series "Your Mom’s Food" the third installment featured Soledad O’Brien (listen to "Soledad O'Brien Cooks Rice, Not Beans").

Soledad's Afro-Cuban mom and Irish-Australian dad got married when interracial marriage was still illegal in parts of the US. Their different cultures didn't really come together at the dinner table.

Her mom offered them her Cuban food heritage, but other than an occasional potato for her father there was nothing from the Irish-Australian. That's not surprising when mom rules the kitchen.

Like many kids, Soledad grew up thinking everyone always had rice and beans at meals. Bringing churros to school on special occasions didn't seem all that unusual.

"I don't think when I was growing up that I really understood how cut off my mom was," Soledad says. Her mother, Estela Lucrecia Marquetti y Mendieta, left Havana in 1947. Her father, Edward Ephram O’Brien, was raised in Toowoomba, Australia.

A young Soledad
Soledad was born in 1966 and there was no chance that her family could go visit relatives in Cuba due to travel bans.

"We were a black/Latino family in a 99 percent white community. There was no Cuban cuisine. All you have left of your childhood is a handful of recipes."

Soledad's mom made Cuban food a big part of their childhood on Long Island, NY as a way to stay connected to Cuba.

Soledad was not much interested in cooking as a kid and still finds little time or interest  in it today, but she regrets that she never learned to cook her mom's black beans. Today her mom has dementia. "My mom made it so well for so long," Soledad says, "It just never occurred to me that there'd be a day that she wasn't going to make them."

In the podcast, Soledad talks about how she keeps her own children in touch with her mom's Cuban culture, despite never learning to cook her mom's cuisine.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Soledad O'Brien and Ice-T: Who Shot Biggie and Tupac?

The still-unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. will be the topic of a special hosted by Ice-T and Soledad O'Brien on September 24 on FOX.

The two-hour special, Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?  will include new details from the investigations, along with interviews with police officers, informants and associates such as Doug E. Fresh, Funkmaster Flex, Suge Knight and Lil Cease. An unreleased recording of Biggie talking about Shakur's September 1996 shooting will be aired.

The true crime genre has had a resurgence the past year and a number of projects are in the works including A&E announcing Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. and Who Killed Tupac? and  USA network's true crime scripted series Unsolved  and the first authorized documentaries about both Shakur and Biggie were announced in the past year. Also on this list are the 2Pac biopic All Eyez on Me and a pre-production announcement of the Johnny Depp-starring film LAbyrinth, about the rappers' murder investigations.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Soledad O'Brien, Equestrian, Speaks on Thoroughbred Aftercare

August issue of 'Heels Down' magazine "Soledad O’Brien, From the Newsroom to the Tack Room"

Equestricon, the first and only fan festival to celebrate the sport of horse racing, was held in Saratoga Springs, NY August 13-15. Soledad O'Brien spoke about thoroughbred rescue and aftercare.

Her keynote address on the second day of the three-day festival at the Saratoga Springs City Center was about what the industry calls "aftercare" or a thoroughbred's life after its usefulness on the track is spent.

"It's not something that people in racing like to talk about," said O'Brien who owns two retired race horses. "But if the horses aren't rescued after they're off the track, they are slaughtered."

Soledad on Aspen

her own rescues, thoroughbreds 9-year-old Joey and 11-year-old Dezi, were retrained as jumpers for her teen daughters who regularly ride.

with rescue racehorse Joey
"Horse rescue is exactly what is not talked about," say Soledad. "Let's discuss it and talk about the real challenges and the real solutions. You don't need to be a professional. You just have to love horses. It's a really wonderful thing."