CNN's Soledad O'Brien touts diversity to UNCP audience


Soledad ObrienMar'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."

O'Brien spoke to a crowd of 800 at the Givens Performing Arts Center September 23 on the opening night of UNC Pembroke's Distinguished Speaker Series.

"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."Soledad Obrien

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."

Soledad ObrienO'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.