Diversity Talk at the University of Chicago for Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien was interviewed by The Chicago Maroon, the student newspaper of The University of Chicago, while she was on campus recently as the inaugural speaker for the University’s new diversity awareness campaign RISE (Reflect. Intervene. Speak. Engage.)

O’Brien, whose father is white and whose mother is Afro-Cuban, spent the day on campus meeting with students to discuss issues of diversity and gave a keynote address at Rockefeller Chapel in the evening.

Chicago Maroon: Why did you decide to participate in the RISE initiative and headline the first event?

Soledad O’Brien: I was invited, and I think a lot of the reason I am invited to be part of these conversations is because of the bulk of the work I’ve done. Whether it was Black in America, Latino in America, the Muslim in America documentary, or Gay in America, I think there was a sense that there was some insight into how do you both tell stories and live in a world that has become increasingly diverse. I probably would add to that list covering the election, when you look at who voted and all the demographic breakdowns, which really show a shift in this country. So I think there was a sense that since I’ve spent a lot of time studying diversity and really telling stories about individuals in diverse communities—their challenges, opportunities, successes, and failures—that I could sort of kick off this conversation, maybe with a big, 35-thousand-foot perspective on diversity as a whole.
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Photo: Peter Tang/The Chicago Maroon
Soledad O'Brien discusses diversity issues in an address given at the University of Chicago

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