Soledad O'Brien: CNN's Reclaiming the Dream

Today and tomorrow, CNN is premiering a panel discussion called "Reclaiming the Dream," which is moderated by Soledad O'Brien discussing the middle class black in America.

The program focuses on debates about the Black community in topics including, self-responsibility, social reform, education, etc. This panel discussion took place during the 2008 Essence Music Festival.

The forum was moderated by Soledad O'Brien and the panelists include influential leaders and activists including Cornel West, Hill Harper, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Ed Gordon, Juliane Malveaux, Bishop TD Jakes, Cheryle Jackson (Chicago Urban League), Jabali Sawicki (Excellence Charter School).

Source: By SoledadOBrien.info

Soledad O'Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for the CNN: Special Investigations Unit, reporting hour-long documentaries throughout the year and filing in-depth series on the most important ongoing and breaking news stories for all major CNN programs.

O'Brien joined CNN in July 2003 as the co-anchor of the network's flagship morning program, American Morning, and distinguished herself by reporting on location for major stories such as Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Phuket, Thailand, which have earned her numerous awards and critical acclaim.

Soledad came to CNN from NBC News where she had anchored the network's Weekend Today starting in July 1999. Prior to that, she had anchored MSNBC's award-winning technology program The Site and the MSNBC weekend morning show. O'Brien had originally joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and Today.

Before her time in New York, she served three years as a local reporter and bureau chief for the NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco.

Soledad began her career as an associate producer and news writer at WBZ-TV in Boston.

In 2007, O'Brien garnered a Gracie Allen Award for her reporting from Cyprus on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict as well as her reports from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Also in 2007, the NAACP honored her with its President's Award in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.

She is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in English and American literature.

Source: By NJIT.edu

Comments

Submitted by Rev. Cedric Fortson (not verified) on
I would like to know if you will offer copies of Reclaiming the Dream and Black in American on DVD? If there are copies offered, how will I be able to receive a copy of each?

Submitted by larry l. minor (not verified) on
Ms. Obrien, I saw the show on CNN early Sunday morning. To get directly to my point, I see the consistant problem that paralyzes this type of show. What we saw was many scholars that have found there way out of the system and want to somehow tell the others how to do the same. Ms Obrien you can not look at the issues inwhich you covered without placing the very persons you are speaking about on the same stage. No one can tell you why I don't feel I can make [t in this life as well as Ican. No one can tell you why she smokes crack better than Shenequa can. The wedge that your guess is speaking about is of there own doing. The should demand that the panel be all inclusive. Ms Obrien, please include me when you talk about me. I brush my teeth daily, and I'm able to articulate my problem. Give me a chance to voice my Black America. By the way, I heard you mention the AIDS epidemic. Did anyone think about the crack epidemic that fuels the AIDS epidemic. Lets talk.

Submitted by Dr. Toni (not verified) on
Dear Soledad O'Brien: Thanks for giving us these programs outside of February! I am always hopeful that these discussions can include black folks from ALL walks of Life and yet it seems that the focus and attention always shifts to the Elite, Euro, Judeo Christian Black folks, their views, experiences and perspectives as representative of all Black America. In order for White America to truly understand that Black America is not like White America...programs such as these have an unique opportunity to reflect that we are truly diverse in our class, religion and education backgrounds including the fact that we also share the common bond of enslavement, oppression (due primarily to skin color), racism (institutional and systemic) and mockery because of the range of our complexion, of which many of us inherited due to the forces of the aforementioned not "inter-racial marriage and relationships." Lastly, no one (Black, White or Others) needs to go into the next decade still limited to the same perspectives that created a so-called satirical cover like the one on The New Yorker! Sincerely, Dr. Toni

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I am so very thankful for this series. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Please do more.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This is great every young black or white (mainly blacks) should see this! This time we need to reclaim the dream-- we need to stand up Do what is right. Finish school, get a job make something of themself

Submitted by David Roussell (not verified) on
My name is David Roussell. I had the opportunity to watch Soledad O'brien's "Reclaiming the dream." In one part of the special Soledad and the panelist discuss the single parent in the black community. It appears to me that everyone seems to think that the only single parents in the black community are black women. There seems to be little to any mention of single black fathers and I've got an issue with this. I don't deny that MOST OF THE TIME when there's a single parent situation in our community that it's the mother who's doing the parenting. However, there ARE PLENTY OF SINGLE FATHERS in our community. I know this because I'M ONE OF THEM. I've had MORE THAN ENOUGH of this one-sided story playing itself out. If we're going to talk about single black families in the black community we certainly need to acknowledge that black women are doing a wonderful job. However, WE CAN'T ALLOW GOOD SINGLE BLACK FATHERS TO GO UN-RECOGNIZED. Dave Roussell www.davidroussell.com

Submitted by joyce jordan (not verified) on
Thank you Soledad and Essence for sharing the conversation. Education is the key to getting out of poverty and our children need to learn our history so they, too can reclaim the dream. I believe African American children should learn how important our ancestors were to the building of this great country of ours. An afrocentric approach to learning is a proactive way of helping our children make a connection to schools and education. Peace, Joyce Jordan

Submitted by tesssibrock (not verified) on
When the subject of Blacks who have AIDS and/or pass it on, NO MENTION WAS MADE OF DRUG TAKING - I WAS FLABERGASTED ! ! !

Submitted by Dr. Ronald N. F... (not verified) on
RONALD N. FANNIEL, SR., M.ED., ED.D. 4812 Clyde Drive Jacksonville, Florida 32208 (904) 861-5687 (Cellular) fannielrn@hotmail.com July 21, 2008 Ms. Soledad O’Brien CNN Documentary Reporter Reclaiming the Dream Re: FOOD FOR THOUGHT VIA A SHARING OF AN ATTACHED POEM Dear Ms. O’Brien: My name is Dr. Ronald N. Fanniel, Sr., and I would like to submit the enclosed poem for your review because I believe it pertains to all people of color in some aspect. And yes, I believe there are some of us who believe that we as a people and a nation have arrived as one under a constitution that was so divisively constructed by our so call founding fathers. I am not bitter, I am just so damn angry because I have to work so hard for my forty acreages of land and a mull; while at the same time have to inequitably hurdle a corrupt governmental system of processes that are designed to intentionally maim the minds and lives of a struggling people. Please hang on the attached poem because I believe you and others are going to be referring back to the asserted poem as we as a people continue to experience a reoccurrence of escalating negative human behaviors via ourselves on each other and by of others with different view points via different venues of avenue. I believe we as a people must start loving each other a little more and respect the differences we bring to an evolving and forever changing society. I don’t believe the so call love is being felt. If so, why are our children crying out for help via their inexcusable actions, a judicial system that is inequitably unjust, deaf ears to the cries of the devalued via an announcement of foul play to authorities in community appointed positions of leadership and a rise in hate crimes across the country? What do you think of the attached poem and what is your response to the question, "Am I Truly Free?" I welcome your feedback. Signed sincerely, Ronald N. Fanniel, Sr. Ronald N. Fanniel, Sr. Ed.D. rf ATTACHMENTS RONALD N. FANNIEL, SR., M.ED., ED.D. 4812 Clyde Drive Jacksonville, Florida 32208 (904) 861-5687 (Cellular) fannielrn@hotmail.com AM I TRULY FREE Copy Right Protected By: Dr. Ronald N. Fanniel, Sr., Jacksonville, Florida Am I truly free in a world that was created for you and me, when I haven’t been able to enjoy, but only a little of life’s luxuries? Born to parents of those who were slaves, and taught to mentally be strong and brave; to think, to dream, to aspire, and crave, of those things I could become during turmoil days? Isn’t it funny how time has come and gone, and yet there still remains to be a people who are subjectively prone, to invisible chains of sub-servitude, and yet, are all bound together by the multitudes. Tagged and sentence by the hue of their skin, of a crime committed way back when. Am I truly free in a world that was to be, full of hope and promise for me? But when the world sees me and says, this just can’t be, but in a world that was created for you and me. Born in a world that never got fixed, a world that has always and continues to restrict, Who decided that the world would be; a world that was created for you and me? I am tired of fighting for the right to be free, a right for choice, and a right to be me, in a world that was created for you and me. When will you learn to leave me alone, and accept me into a world, in which I was to belong; in a world, that was created, for you and me? Am I truly free, in a world that was to be, a world that was created, for you and me? Am I truly free, in a world that was to be, when you continue to act, as if you can’t see? What are you doing? Am I not free? Created by: Dr. Ronald N. Fanniel, Sr. Author’s Signature: Dr. Ronald N. Fanniel, Sr. Copyright Protected: E-mail Address: fannielrn@hotmail.com RONALD N. FANNIEL, SR., M.ED., ED.D. 4812 Clyde Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32208 Cellular # (904) 861-5687, fannielrn@hotmail.com OBJECTIVE: Seeking an administrative position to utilize over 20 years of educational and professional experiences to provide a needed leadership that will support the goals and objectives of a post-secondary educational institution in higher learning. EDUCATION Doctor of Education – Organizational Leadership Major GPA: 3.87, 60 Credits Earned Argosy University, 2002 – 2006 Dissertation of Study: Diversity in Higher Education Master’s of Education – Business Education Major GPA: 3.43, 37 Credits Earned Florida A&M University, 1990 - 1991 Bachelor of Science – Office Administration Management Major GPA: 3.03, 134 Credits Earned Minor – Information Systems Florida A&M University, 1982 - 1985 QUALIFICATIONS • 20 years of having effectively managed and coordinated at-risk population programs • 20 years of having planned, designed, developed, and monitored student driven programs • Proven leadership abilities in developing, designing and implementing need based programs • Proven ability to interact effectively with all levels of government, community, and client based groups • Successfully defended a quantitative and qualitative dissertation in disparity of diversity in higher education • Managed multiple projects while academically serving students in conjunction with collaboratively meeting the needs of various communities PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE KELLY EDUCATIONAL STAFFING Jacksonville, Florida August 2005 – May 2008 DUVAL COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD Jacksonville, Florida August 2004 – May 2005 SUBSTITUTE SCHOOL TEACHER • Supervised, monitored, administered, instructed and carried out -lesson plans for students from grades K thu 12 LEON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Tallahassee, Florida August 2002 – May 2004 SUBSTITUTE SCHOOL TEACHER • Supervised, monitored, administered, instructed and carried out required lesson plans for students • Served as an In-School Suspension Officer and developed in-house behavioral program (02/03 – 05/03) • Assisted appointed teacher with all ESE students as an Exceptional Student Education Aide (08/03 – 05/04) FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY Tallahassee, Florida May 2000 – August 2002 ACADEMIC ADVISOR / COUNSELOR / CLASSROOM INSTRUCTOR • Taught Student Life Skills course • Helped students identified appropriate assessment for a selected program of study • Provided academic counseling in various areas related to developmental needs of students • Submitted measurable monthly progress reports to supervisor, by way of MS Office software • Aided staff with counseling and advised all First-Time in College Students during peak periods • Collaborated with faculty and college-wide staff to develop and implement student success strategies • Assisted students with the change of major process and made sure students had the necessary documents • Assisted and referred undeclared and undecided students to appropriate individuals for additional support • Maintained an up-to-date inventory of advising, materials, information, career planning, and retention resources related to student records PRECISION RESPONSE CORPORATION Jacksonville, Florida July 1999 – May 2000 CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE • Provided temporary services by way of a computer • Received inbound telephone calls from clients for issues related to a demutualization of Insurance stock FULTON COUNTY PURCHASING & LAND DEPARTMENT Atlanta, Georgia May 1998 – July 1999 ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT II • Made important changes to specialize reports and documents • Provided a specialized administrative support for processing purchase orders and vendor documents • Handled routine and special community actions in accordance with County policies and procedures • Performed searches and reviews on departmental policies and procedures that were analyzed and interpreted for compliance • Managed, coordinated and processed all incoming information from other departments via computer and other forms of information systems there pertaining to all federal, state, and governmental municipalities DUVAL COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD – PAXON MIDDLE SCHOOL Jacksonville, Florida October 1994 – June 1996 INTRO TO COMPUTER CLASSROOM INSTRUCTOR • Taught, supervised, managed, monitored, administered, and developed annual lesson plans for students, grades 6, 7th & 8th EDWARD WATERS COLLEGE Jacksonville, Florida June 1994 – August 1995 ADJUNCT MARKETING/MANAGEMENT PROFESSOR • Taught, supervised, managed, monitored, administered, and developed lesson plans for college level students FANNIEL’S BOARDING SCHOOL, INC. Jacksonville, Florida July 1992 – May 1998 FOUNDER AND MANAGER • Established a community based non-profit school for homeless children • Wrote grants, coordinated and implemented a 501 ( c ) (3) program from merely a concept, in addition to given national, state and local presentations FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY Tallahassee, Florida September 1989 – July 1992 PROJECT COORDINATOR, ACADEMIC ADVISOR / COUNSELOR / CLASSROOM INSTRUCTOR • Taught Student Life Skills course • Managed program and supervised two work-study students • Surrendered written input for budget preparation for assigned functional areas • Monitored and tracked assigned students progress for academic success • Submitted measurable monthly progress reports to supervisor, by way of MS Office software • Provided leadership in marketing the ILP at-risk program to staff, faculty and the community at large • Advised academically First-Time in College Students with a balanced prescription of required courses • Coordinated the scheduling, maintenance, and delivery of career planning services for academic progress • Developed, designed, implemented, and managed university-wide retentional program for a population of at-risk students from merely a Board of Regents statue • Planned, developed, and implemented procedures and practices by way of a manual to aid in the efficient operation and functions of the new and innovative at-risk program • Maintained an up-to-date inventory of advising, materials, information, career planning, and retention resources related to student records FLORIDA COMMUNITY COLLEGE Jacksonville, Florida October 1985 – September 1989 PROJECT COORDINATOR II • Supervised two work-study students • Aided in the grant writing process • Advised, recruited and counseled students • Provided input for budget preparation for assigned functional areas • Monitored and tracked enrolled students progress for academic success • Implemented retentional program on four campuses in less than one year • Surrendered measurable monthly progress reports to supervisor, by way of MS Office software • Managed, developed, designed, and implemented the at-risk student program from merely a concept • Presented at-risk program design, development and accomplishments on a national, state and local level, the “Brothers Helping Brothers Community Mentorship Program” • Prepared comprehensive reports which summarized all conclusive findings and provided recommendations for continued program effectiveness • Researched information, reviewed processes, analyzed data and created systems to monitor, measure, and enhance specified operations and services for all enrolled in new and innovative program • Planned, developed, and implemented procedures and practices by way of a manual to aid in the efficient operation and functions of the new and innovative at-risk program • Kept an up-to-date inventory of advising, materials, information, career planning, and retention resources related to student records • Maintained advising related to student records with the necessary information for each individual student • Provided leadership in marketing the Brother’s Helping Brothers program to students, staff, and the community at large, including other schools, businesses, and public agencies MILITARY UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS Camp LeJeune, NC July 1977 – April 1981 INFANTRY SELF-DEVELOMENT WORKSHOPS: • Board Training, 2005 • Diversity Symposium, 2006 • Sponsorship Recruitment Training, 2006 • Grant Proposal Production Training, 2005 • Florida Center for Reading Research DIBELS Certified, 2003 • SES Educational Leadership Two Day Workshop Training, 2007 AWARDS & HONORS: • United States Achievement Academy, 1991 • Academic All-American Scholar Award, 1991 • National Academic Advising Association, 1989/90 • Delores A. Auzenne Fellowship Recipient, 1990/91 • Law School Admission Council Entrance Exam, Ranked Top 7%, 2007 EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: • NAACP Member • Community Election Poll Watcher • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Life Member • Free and Accepted Mason (P.H.A., Inc.) and Shriner REFERENCES FURNISHED UPON REQUEST

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