Wednesday September 3, 2008

Stories of Diversity

CNN newscaster Soledad O'Brien takes a break from the political trail to talk about the diversity of America's people in a free lecture on Sept. 10. She kicks off the Diversity Lecture Series.

CNN newscaster Soledad O'Brien will address "Diversity: On TV, Behind the Scenes and in Our Lives" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, in the Kennedy Union ballroom.

The talk, free and open to the public, kicks off UD's 2008-2009 Diversity Lecture Series. Guests are requested to arrive early as seating is limited.O'Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN: Special Investigations Unit and covers political news.? Most recently, she reported for "CNN Presents: Black in America," a sweeping landmark series revealing the state of America 40 years after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It's the highest-rated documentary series in CNN's history.

As a CNN correspondent, she covered President George W. Bush's visit to Mexico, delivering a series of eye-opening reports on conditions south of the border that fuel illegal immigration to the United States. She also anchored and reported on an acclaimed CNN documentary featuring a never-before-seen look at King's private writings, notes and teachings. In another initiative, "Children of the Storm," she provided video cameras to young Hurricane Katrina survivors so they could tell their stories in their own words and images.? She was among a handful of CNN anchors sent to Phuket, Thailand, to cover the disaster and aftermath of the 2004 tsunami.

O'Brien came to CNN from NBC News, where she anchored the network's Weekend Today, contributed reports for the weekday Today show and weekend editions of NBC Nightly News and covered such notable stories as John F. Kennedy Jr.'s plane crash and school shootings in Colorado and Oregon.

The Diversity Lecture Series is part of a larger strategic plan to increase inclusion and diversity on campus and prepare students, faculty, staff and the Dayton community for success in a global society.? Past speakers have included Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Spike Lee, Kirk Franklin, Clarence Page, Nikki Giovanni, Azar Nafisi and Johnnetta B. Cole.

UD's commitment to diversity is founded in its Catholic heritage of social justice and the Marianist tradition of equality and being inclusive of people from all segments of society.

The Diversity Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the offices of the president and provost, with the support from the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ); the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area; YWCA Dayton; the Victoria Theatre Association; Markey's Audio Visual; Ross Buick-GMC-Hummer; RTA; the Dayton Daily News; WDTN-TV; and WDAO-AM (1210).

Lynnette Heard, executive director of the president's office, at 937-229-4122.