Soledad O’Brien headlines MTSU Women’s History Mon...

Soledad O’Brien headlines MTSU Women’s History Month events

Journalist Soledad O’Brien is headlining two months of events in observance of National Women’s History Month at MTSU.

The theme of this year’s festivities is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.”

O’Brien will be the keynote speaker at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in the Student Union ballroom. Her topic will be “Diversity: On TV, Behind the Scenes and In Our Lives.”

The reporter joined CNN in 2003, anchoring “American Morning” and “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.” Her coverage of the 2010 Haitian earthquake on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” earned her an Emmy Award in 2011. Her “Black in America” series was one of CNN’s most successful international franchises.

Click on this graphic for a full-size version of MTSU’s 2014 National Women’s History Month poster.

O’Brien moved to Al Jazeera America in 2013. She will produce short-form segments to the network as a special correspondent to its prime time magazine program “America Tonight.” In addition, O’Brien contributes reports to “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” on HBO.

Additional Women’s History Month events at MTSU are as follows:

  • NASA engineer Aisha Bowe will deliver the Women in Science Invited Lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, March 3, in Room S305 of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

Bowe is an aerospace engineer at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Her work focuses on developing methods to maintain safe separation of air traffic and optimize fuel consumption within an automatic system.

  • “Serving the Local Community: Women in Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County Governments” is slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in MTSU’s Tom Jackson Building.

This discussion will include panelists Laura Bohling, Rutherford County circuit court clerk; Donna Scott Davenport, Rutherford County juvenile court judge; Joyce Ealy, District 19 Rutherford County commissioner; Madelyn Scales Harris, Murfreesboro City Council member; and Lisa Nolan, Rutherford County finance director. The moderator will be MTSU professor emerita Dr. Ayne Cantrell.

  • Anti-domestic violence activist Mark Wynn will talk about stalking in domestic violence incidents and on college campuses from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in Room S102 of the Business and Aerospace Building.
  • Members of the LGBT community will celebrate diversity at “SpringOut! Pride Week” Monday, April 7, through Saturday, April 12. The highlight will be the second SpringOut! DragOut!, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 12 in the Tennessee Room of MTSU’s James Union Building. Tickets are available by contacting

The culmination of the National Women’s History Month celebration will be the inaugural “Women of Character, Courage and Commitment Gala” from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

This dinner will recognize women and men in the MTSU community and in Rutherford County who have been advocates for women’s rights and who have shown great character, courage and commitment to the cause.

Ticket information is available by calling Valerie Avent, assistant director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, at 615-898-5725 or

A searchable campus map with parking and travel notes is available at

Each year, the MTSU Women’s History Month Committee produces buttons depicting an accomplished woman of historic importance. The buttons for this year’s National Women’s History Month celebration feature pioneering civil rights and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.

Born into slavery in 1797, Truth won three lawsuits, very unusual for a black woman of her time. One of those victories enabled her to retrieve her son, Peter, from a slaveholder who had purchased him illegally.

She delivered her most famous address, “Ain’t I a Woman?”, at a women’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851. In the speech, Truth asserted that women deserved equal rights with men because they were equally capable.

For more information about these and other events, contact Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center, at 615-898-2193 or

— Gina K. Logue (