Mar'a de la Soledad has come a long way from her days as an intern making coffee for the newsroom. O'Brien is the host of CNN's "American Morning."
"My mother is a black Cuban, my father is Australian and my grandparents are Irish, so I stuck out everywhere I went," O'Brien said.
Today, O'Brien is thankful for her diverse background because it has given her a broader view of the world.
"Diversity effects our news, politics, education, and there are consequences when we don't come together despite our differences," O'Brien said. "This goes beyond ethnicity."
Diversity in the newsroom provides a true representation in society, and viewers want to see themselves represented, she said.
"When diverse people are in the newsroom and on camera, you get a broader perspective of the whole story," O'Brien said. "Different people bring in a variety of ideas, and the benefits are great."
What O'Brien likes best about her job is the diversity, in all things.
"I stand with those who think diversity is a strength in society," O'Brien said. "There is always room to embrace diversity more."
It is working for this career broadcast journalist whose career is on the rise.
"I love my job," O'Brien said. "I have gone from interviewing Bill Clinton and touring a C130 cargo plane to taking tango and cooking lessons."
O'Brien, who is a Harvard graduate with two young children, signed autographs for an appreciative crowd following her performance. She also appeared on a WNCP-TV show which is rebroadcast locally on Time Warner's cable channel six.
The next speaker in the series is Olympic champion and Native American Billy Mills, Tuesday, November 3.