Activities & Organizations News

CNN anchor to bring Black in America tour to UH

UH will host the Black In America Tour, hosted by CNN anchor and executive producer Soledad O’Brien, on Feb. 24.

|Courtesy of University of Texas-Arlington

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien will moderate a panel which will include the Law Center’ Dean Leonard Baynes. |Courtesy of University of Texas-Arlington

Courtesy of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the panel presentation is part of a tour that is an effective sequel to O’Brien’s 2008 documentary series, also titled “Black In America.” O’Brien will moderate a panel of three prominent black philanthropists as they speak on issues concerning race in modern society. They will also take questions from audience members.

“I hope that this tour expands the perspective of everyone who attends and that they walk away with the knowledge and confidence to improve race relations,” said Center for Diversity and Inclusion director Niya Blair.

UH Law Center Dean Leonard Baynes will take part as a panelist. In addition to his academic achievements, Baynes was also director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at St. John’s University in New York, where he taught before coming to UH. During his time in the position, Baynes raised over $1.6 million for conferences and other functions at the Brown Center.

“The tour will provide a forum for the UH community of scholars, staff and students to learn and discuss these issues of racial justice and equality,” said Baynes. “The goal of the discussion is is to help us better understand the issues and move forward in a positive fashion.”

Also speaking at the event will be economist and political commentator Julianne Malveaux and politician and philanthropist Antonio French. Malveaux holds a master’s degree from Boston College and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an highly active columnist, speaker and political activist. Her written work has appeared in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Sun Reporter, and she has appeared on programs on CNN, Fox News, ABC and BET, including O’Brien’s “Black in America” documentary.

French is from St. Louis, MO’s 21st ward and served as former editor of the newspaper The Public Defender. French rose to national prominence in his documentation of 2014’s Michael Brown protests in St. Louis, for which he was arrested.

Attendance at the tour is free, but a ticket is required. Tickets can be picked up at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion through February

For more information on the event, visit the Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s website at or call 713-743-6047. You can also visit the tour’s website,

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