Delivering Democracy Lecture

Delivering Democracy Lecture 2017 - Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien


About the Lecture:

Arizona has long been viewed as a place in which democracy is undervalued and undermined. The word “democracy” is one of the most recognized, despised, venerated, and misunderstood terms in the English language. Its potential, however, has yet to be fully realized because it is routinely distorted, misjudged, and exploited. In order for American democracy to flourish and expand, its origins, evolution, and potency must be explained and practiced by everyday people, scholars, and visionaries in an accessible and thought provoking way. The Delivering Democracy Lecture provides a platform for the world's leading, inspirational and visionary speakers to present their statements on participatory democracy.

Program Schedule:

1:30 p.m. Community Resource Fair

Attendee Check-in Begins
3:30 p.m. Mini-Concert - Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church 
4 p.m. Delivering Democracy Lecture Begins

Soledad O'Brien HeadshotSoledad O’Brien

Award-winning journalist, documentarian, entrepreneur and philanthropist

Soledad O’Brien has established herself as one of the most recognized names in broadcasting.

An engaging storyteller, O'Brien brings wider exposure to some of the most important issues and stories of our day through her coverage of breaking news and as host of the critically-acclaimed documentary series “Black in America and “Latino in America,” which she originated while an anchor at CNN.

In her early career O’Brien co-anchored NBC’s “Weekend Today” and contributed segments to the “Today” show and “NBC Nightly News.” In 2003, she transitioned to CNN, anchoring the morning news programs for many years. O’Brien continues to contribute programming to CNN and Al Jazeera America in the form of documentaries and feature stories. She also hosts specials for the National Geographic Channel and serves as a contributing editor for PBS “NewsHour.”

In 2013, O’Brien joined the “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” team, giving her the opportunity to contribute her brand of storytelling through the vast prism of sports. That same year O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group (SMG), a multi-platform 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.

In September, she became the host of the syndicated political show “Matter of Fact,” which focuses on alternative views on top issues.

O'Brien has earned multiple Emmy awards: for her reporting on the earthquake in Haiti, her coverage of the 2012 presidential election, and her work on "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture.” At CNN she was part of the news teams that earned Peabody Awards for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf oil spill, and her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami helped win an Alfred I. DuPont Award for the network.

O’Brien was named journalist of the year in 2010 by the National Association of Black Journalists, and in 2006 she was one of Newsweek magazine’s “10 People who Make America Great.” Harvard University, her alma mater, named O’Brien a Distinguished Fellow in 2013.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she and her husband, Brad Raymond, established the PowHERful Foundation (formerly known as the Starfish Foundation) to help bridge the opportunity gap, making college attainable for young women from underrepresented and underserved communities.

O’Brien’s memoir, “The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities,” chronicles her significant reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences.

Venue:Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church photo

The Delivering Democracy Lecture will be held at:

     Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
     1401 E. Jefferson Street
     Phoenix, AZ  85041


Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church is located on E. Jefferson Road between 14th & 15th Streets and is easily accessible from the I-10.

For detailed driving directions from your location, visit GoogleMaps ( and select "Directions" on the map. You can also contact our office for assistance at 602-496-1376.


Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church's main parking lot accessible from 15th Street. Additional parking is located west of the church on 14th Street south of E. Jefferson. This lot is unpaved.

Public Transportation:

Downtown Phoenix is expected to be congested on the day of the lecture. Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church is conveniently accessible by public transporation and is on the lightrail line. The CSRD highly recommends using public transportation. Visit for lightrail and bus schedules.

Soledad O'Brien Headshot
Saturday, April 1, 2017 - 4:00pm