Soledad O’Brien Visits the University of Alabama

 On Wednesday, November 9,  words of wisdom were spoken when award-winning news anchor Soledad O’Brien of CNN‘s “In America” documentaries stopped by the University of Alabama amidst her national tour to speak about her personal experiences as a journalist and as a woman of mixed ethnicities.  Her visit consisted of an hour long speech followed by a 30 minute question and answer session.

Thanks to my Introduction to Journalism professor, Dr. Daniels (you are now my favorite person), I was able to meet and speak with Soledad O’Brien first hand at her reception before her speech.  Unfortunately, her attention was desired by all in the room, so a group of several other students and I were only able to share her for only a few minutes.  Insisting we call her by her first name, we each bombarded Soledad with questions, me in particular asking about her travel experiences.

Image A charming woman, she captivated all in the room with her welcoming smile, intelligence and stories of her life.  Laughter erupted from whichever corner of the room Soledad, surrounded by admirers, happened to stand in.  I was privileged to have the opportunity to take a picture with Soledad and have her sign my book Latino In America.  Although I have both of her books, I only brought Latino In America for her to sign because I myself am part Portuguese (I know, I don’t look the least bit Latina).  Plus, I didn’t want to overload her with demands.

In the course of her speech–which I sat second row for (I almost died of happiness)–Soledad discussed the many difficulties she overcame as a woman of mixed ethnicities and as a working mom; the projects she took on, such as covering the tsunami in Thailand, hurricane Katrina, her documentary on Dr. Martin Luther King, “Words That Changed a Nation” and her latest documentary, “Black in America: Silicon Valley”; the struggle her parents faced as an interracial couple and her life growing up, as she describes herself, a “bi-racial black girl from Long Island”; all while encouraging students to challenge boundaries and have passion.

 

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Soledad O’Brien and I at her reception prior to her speech she gave at the University of Alabama. Such an exceptionally kind spirited and intelligent woman. An aspiration for myself not only as a woman, but as a Latina.

Get On Board Day…Again

Unlike my freshman counterparts in my Introduction to Journalism class, I am in my junior year of college and have been through Get on Board Day for the past two years.  When told I was required to do it again, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes nor suppress an audible groan (sorry Dr. Daniels).   So I stumbled around the Plaza under the blazing sun, 102 degrees of heat beating down on my sweat drenched body as I was jostled from side to side…again.  I previewed all of the booths, checking to see if there were any new groups that I may find appealing.  Sure enough, I’m already a member of all the organizations that interest me: Project Health and the Crimson White.  Although I didn’t find it beneficial, another turn around Get on Board Day didn’t kill me.  In fact, it’s probably best that I did check it out, just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.  But I probably won’t be going next year.

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May look harmless here, but in reality, it is packed with students.

 

 

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