Black in America series comes to USF

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will bring her “Black in America” series to USF on Monday, Feb. 17.

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will bring her “Black in America” series to USF on Monday, Feb. 17.

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will bring her “Black in America” series to the University of St. Francis on Monday, Feb. 17.

O’Brien’s critically acclaimed documentary series, “Black in America” and its follow-up, “Latino in America,” are among CNN’s most successful domestic and international franchises. O’Brien was named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists and one of Newsweek magazine’s “10 People Who Make America Great.”

In a town hall format, O’Brien will bring the “Black in America” discussion to the University of St. Francis community. O’Brien will begin the evening with remarks and clips from her documentaries. She will then invite panelists to join her on stage to continue the discussion. Finally, the audience will be invited to participate in a question and answer session and in a “Tweetwall.”

The community is invited to this presentation, which will be in the Pat Sullivan Center on the University of St. Francis main campus, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet. For information or reservations, call (815) 740-5072.

O’Brien has reported on breaking news from around the globe. She won an Emmy for her “Crisis in Haiti Report” on Haitian orphanages, following the massive earthquake. She was part of the team that won an Emmy for 2012 Election Coverage and she won an Emmy for the special report Kids on Race. Her coverage of Hurricane Katrina earned her and CNN a George Foster Peabody award. She received another Peabody award for her coverage of the BP Gulf coast Oil Spill. Her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami garnered CNN an Alfred I DuPont award.

In 2013, “Latino in America 2,” the story of a Latina boxer who dreams of Olympic glory, won the celebrated Cine Award for documentaries. Her “Gay in America: Gary and Tony Have a Baby” and “Unwelcome, the Muslims Next Door” documentaries also won numerous journalism awards. In 2013, O’Brien joined Harvard University as a Distinguished Fellow and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the foundation for The National Archives.

In 2013 O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multiplatform media production and distribution company, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories. Starfish Media Group continues to produce “Black in America” for CNN. Starfish partnerships include Sundance Channel, HBO, Nat Geo Channel, Latina Magazine and Billboard Magazine. O’Brien is a correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” and a special correspondent for Al Jazeera’s “America Tonight.” O’Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she anchored the network’s “Weekend Today.”

In 2010, she wrote a critically-acclaimed memoir, “The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities,” which chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her multicultural upbringing and background have influenced these experiences.

O’Brien is also the moderator and executive producer of the National Geographic Bee geography contest. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, O’Brien and her husband Brad created a foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college. In 2013 they awarded scholarships to 25 deserving young women. O’Brien lives in Manhattan in New York City with her husband and four children.

The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit


Media Inquiries:
Nancy Pohlman, Executive Director of Community Relations
(815) 740-3379 |