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R-MC Community Welcomes Soledad O’Brien

Sep 01, 2017


President Lindgren and Soledad O'BrienRandolph-Macon College's Watkins Lecture Series hosted Soledad O’Brien on October 5, 2017 in Blackwell Auditorium, R-MC Center for the Performing Arts. O'Brien presented "Diversity: On TV, Behind the Scenes, and in Our Lives."

R-MC President welcomed staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the college to the event, and Chiquita DeJesus '18 introduced O’Brien.

In her talk, O'Brien shared with the audience the importance of storytelling from all perspectives and emphasized the value of responsible journalism, hard work and integrity. She then showed clips from several of her documentaries, including "Black in American 2" and "Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11."

A Q&A session, moderated by Sociology and Anthropology Professor Sarah Cribbs, followed the lecture, and the event was capped off with a book signing.

Soledad O'Brien
Through the power of storytelling, O'Brien, an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, producer and philanthropist, brings a fresh perspective on diverse and contemporary issues. A champion of diversity, she gives voice to the underserved and disenfranchised through her Emmy-winning reporting and acclaimed documentary series "Black in America" and "Latino in America."

O'Brien, a graduate of Harvard University, is the host of the Sunday morning syndicated political show, "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien." In 2013 she 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 produces "Black in America" and "Latino in America" and other programming for CNN.

In 2013, O'Brien joined HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" as a correspondent. Her critically-acclaimed memoir, The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities, chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences.

In 2011, O'Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, started PowHERful Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps bridge the gap of opportunities for young minority women from low-income families to attend college with financial assistance, mentoring and holistic support.

R-MC's Watkins Lecture Series
The Watkins Lecture Series was established in 1999 by Marion Watkins Herget and Dr. George D. Watkins '44 and is named in honor of their parents, who owned and operated the Herald-Progress newspaper. The series brings together the Town of Ashland and R-MC communities—two entities important to the Watkins family.

The Watkins' gift has provided lecture attendees the opportunity to hear from a host of notable speakers, including Garrison Keillor, Ari Shapiro, Nina Totenberg, James Carville, Julian Bond, Bob Woodward, David Gergen, and Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.

R-MC's Cultural Arts & Entertainment Series
Randolph-Macon College hosts a series of events throughout the year, which are open to the community. For information on upcoming events, including schedule changes, visit