Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Today: Celebrate Diversity Banquet Hosts Soledad O'Brien, Honors Community Members

October 23, 2013


Texas Tech University welcomed award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer Soledad O'Brien this week. O'Brien, who gave the keynote address at the annual Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet on Wednesday night, took a brief tour of Lubbock and spoke at Talkington School for Young Women Leaders and the Rawls College of Business.

O'Brien, the originator of CNN's Black in America and Latino in America among other documentaries on diversity and race, is the daughter of a black Cuban mother and an Australian father and one of six children. Her background shap ed many of her experiences and influenced the trajectory of her career.

"What my parents taught me was that a life that was worth living was something you had to dictate for yourself," O'Brien told the sold-out crowd at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. "You have a worthy story to tell. And if you don't tell it, then who will?"

O'Brien said diversity in storytelling-or, journalism-is crucial because there are so many different perspectives, it can be easy for the media to place marginalized groups in a certain pre-defined box of what that group is known for in the U.S.

"We don't tell enough stories about a certain group, but communities are a mix of things," O'Brien said. "For students in this room, you have an opportunity to stand for something-to be a symbol for what you can achieve."

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