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Remember 2020? That summer when America exploded with long overdue conversations and protests about racial justice and police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd? Some of that talk is gone, but Soledad O’Brien – veteran journalist, peerless interviewer and equality fighter – knows the job is far from done. Not even close.
That’s why, it’s been over a year since she launched her intensive program The problem of reality listening tour, O’Brien is back with another installment. A spin-off of her weekly show The problem of reality, the show focuses on expanding conversations about change, race, equity, and justice. Now, after three segments, the tour is wrapping up with the fourth and final season premiering this Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. EST.
The episode is titled “Forerunners, Troublemakers, and Dreams,“Highlights domestic pioneers who are leading conversations about race and justice in micro and macro ways. Unlike the previous segments, this final stage challenges the ideas of a social justice activist. Are they frontrunners, troublemakers, or both?
“This segment looks at the frontrunners and maybe their flip side as troublemakers,” says O’Brien. “The whole point is, in light of George Floyd’s murder and so much unrest in the country, who are the people trying to bring justice to the country? Of course, some of them are bold names, and a lot of them are people who work every day on a small or no budget and often go unrecognized. So it’s deconstructing: What does that look like and why do they do it? ”
“The Forerunner, The Troublemaker, and the Dream” will premiere on matteroffact.tv and includes interviews from famous activists such as Billy Porter, actor, singer and author; Simone Biles, American Olympic gold medalist and gymnast; and local change agents such as 2017 and 2019 Women’s Rights co-chair, March Linda Sarsour and gun control advocate X Gonzalez, a survivor of the 2018 shootings at Marjorie High School Stoneman Douglas of Parkland, Florida and co-founder of March for Our Lives.
The episode will also include interesting conversations and personal stories from:
- Bryan Stevenson, founder and CEO of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to ending mass incarceration through racial and economic justice
- Tarana Burke, community organizer and founder of the #MeToo . movement
- Nashlie Sephus, an entrepreneur and computer engineer who specializes in identifying algorithmic bias
- Renee Montgomery, a former WNBA player who became the first owner and operator of a team
While this is the final tour, O’Brien says the conversations — and more importantly, the learning — don’t stop here. As for O’Brien, since the first segment premiered in October 2020, she has known not only the names of the actors who changed history, but also their personal stories. What matters is not only their positivity but also their strengths and strivings. “It’s just a great way to tackle something worth revisiting,” she said. “It is always very frustrating to have a story for one day of this Black History Month, or for Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s amazing how it’s like, no, let’s keep trying to work it out. Let’s dig deeper and introduce you to people you don’t know yet. Some of them are famous, and some of them are not famous at all, except in their vicinity. But they are doing interesting things. For me, that is the real value that journalism can bring.”
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