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Soledad O'Brien

“Soledad O’Brien Presents Black in America” will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

Photographer: Fran Roberts

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Ohio University to host 'Soledad O’Brien Presents Black in America'

Award-winning journalist bringing national tour to Athens Feb. 20

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will be visiting Ohio University this month as part of a multi-city speaking tour.

Sponsored by the Scripps College of Communication, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the School of Communication Studies, O’Brien is bringing the conversation to Ohio with her critically-acclaimed series “Soledad O’Brien Presents Black in America,” Thursday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. in the fourth-floor Baker University Center Ballroom. The town-hall event is free and open to the public. The Athens event will be her only stop in Ohio.

“When my colleague Justice Hill first told me we might be able to bring Soledad O’Brien to campus, I realized it was a great opportunity for the journalism faculty and our students to be part of this conversation,” said Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

O’Brien is hosting town-hall conversations throughout February – Black History Month – to share her own professional and life experiences with the audience and host a panel discussion. The tour is an extension of her “Black in America” series, which premiered on CNN in 2008 as a multi-part series of documentaries covering issues, challenges and culture of African Americans across the country.

The interactive event at OHIO will feature an audio/visual presentation and local panelists from the University and surrounding community and will also include audience participation. According to her publicist, O’Brien will draw the audience into a complex and nuanced discussion about what ails or excites their community as it confronts social change.

“We’re pleased to be able to host this event to continue a very important national discussion,” said Scripps College of Communication Dean Scott Titsworth. “Part of our onus to communication students is to provide them with the experiences and discussions that will help them to not only define the ways in which our society consumes media but also the cultural landscape in which media is produced. This event will benefit these students and the university and local community in myriad ways.”

A public reception will be held following the event at 7 p.m. in the Multi-purpose Room of the Multicultural Center on the second floor of Baker University Center.

Additional sponsors include Ohio University’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the Department of African American Studies, the Office of Multicultural Programs and the Multicultural Center. The reception is cosponsored by the Campus Involvement Center and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board.