Soledad O'Brien Will Speak at USM Anniversary of Desegregation Celebration

Soledad O'Brien will be the keynote speaker for the University of Southern Mississippi’s 50th anniversary celebration of the desegregation of the institution.

Her talk will be in conjunction with the university’s “Celebrating 50 Years of Progress: Desegregation of The University of Southern Mississippi” on September 4 at 7 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium.

In September 1965, Southern Miss enrolled its first African-American students, Raylawni Branch and Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong.

“Fifty years is not a long time considering the great changes that have taken place at USM, in Mississippi and the nation at large. It’s important yet to mark such anniversaries to better understand the past struggles and make even greater strides in the years to come,” said Sherita Johnson, director of the Southern Miss Center for Black Studies. “That is an important mission for the center, through our research, teaching and service activities. Having O’Brien on campus for this occasion illustrates the university’s commitment to educating and empowering the next generation of leaders.”

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