Award-winning television journalist and documentarian Soledad O’Brien will discuss “Mass Incarceration in America” with the N.C. Central University community and special guests on Thursday, March 3.
The event is presented by the NCCU Lyceum Committee and takes place at 6 p.m. in B.N. Duke Auditorium on campus. The discussion is expected to focus on issues surrounding race, poverty, class, wealth, education and opportunity.
O’Brien, a longtime CNN reporter and founder of Starfish Media Group, will share the stage with Brian Banks, who spent five years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted of rape, and Keijuane Hester, a former inmate who worked in a prison kitchen and now operates his own highly successful bakery in Durham.
A native of Long Island, N.Y., O’Brien, began her career with the Boston NBC affiliate before going on to host popular news programs on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, HBO and to found her own media production company in 2013. Her parents, a white Australian father and a Cuban mother of African-American descent, met at Johns Hopkins University in the 1950s but had to move away from Maryland to wed. Born in 1966, O’Brien hasnoted that the experience of growing up as a mixed-race American informs her work as a journalist.
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She is author of the 2010 memoir The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities, about her life and her reporting career covering events such as the London terrorism attacks of 20015, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Hurricane Katrina. Her many accolades includes the Dupont and Peabody journalism awards and the President's Award for her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.
The Lyceum presentations are part of NCCU’s commitment to encourage stimulating intellectual curiosity and discourse on campus by inviting nationally recognized scholars and on campus to engage with students, faculty and staff.