Diversity Banquet Features Speaker Soledad O'Brien

The broadcast journalist will appear Oct. 16 at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.

Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien

As part of the third annual Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet, Texas Tech University’s Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement will host broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien. The banquet is at Oct. 16 at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.

The Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet recognizes selected individuals for their work and advancement of diversity and inclusive excellence at Texas Tech. Proceeds from the banquet benefit the Celebrate Diversity Scholarship Fund.

During her time with CNN, O’Brien reported breaking news from around the globe and produced award-winning, record-breaking and critically acclaimed documentaries on stories facing the world today.

O’Brien’s most recent documentaries include “Who Is Black in America?,” which examines the interpretation of race and identity and acceptance around these issues; “Latino in America: Courting Their Vote,” a look at the impact of the Latino vote in Nevada on the 2012 presidential election; “Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley,” a profile of an accelerator program developed to diversify the technology industry by helping African-American digital entrepreneurs secure funding for their ventures; “Latino in America 2: In Her Corner,” the story of female flyweight fighter and U.S. Olympic hopeful Marlen Esparza; “Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11,” an investigation into the lives of female rescue workers who were the first to respond to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks; and “Don’t Fail Me: Education in America,” a look at the crisis in public education where American kids are not learning the skills necessary to compete.

In the last 10 years, O’Brien has reported on various issues in the U.S. and abroad and won several awards for her journalism. In 2011, she won her first Emmy for “Crisis in Haiti (Anderson Cooper 360)” in the category of Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story – Long Form. O’Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its BP oil spill and Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the Southeast Asia tsunami. The National Association of Black Journalists named O’Brien the Journalist of the Year and Edward R. Murrow Awards lauded her with the RTDNA/UNITY award for Latino in America in 2010. She received the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine for being a catalyst for social change and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami.

O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University and lives with her husband and four children in Manhattan.

Tickets for the Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet are $75. VIP tickets are $100 and include admission to a reception with O’Brien. Student tickets are $40.

For more information or to obtain tickets, contact Cory Powell at (806) 742-8692 or by email at cory.powell@ttu.edu.