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Soledad O’Brien entertains at Harvard Class Day

Kris Snibbe/Harvard University/Harvard University

When she’s not covering international crises, Emmy-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien (above center) shows off her philanthropic side. The CNN special correspondent spoke at Harvard’s Class Day and, among humorous jabs at the eternal presence of the Harvard Alumni Association, delivered one nifty piece of advice, supposedly handed down from her mom: “People are idiots.” A 1988 graduate of the university, O’Brien described her biracial family and turned that surprising line into a tangible bit of encouragement for the graduates. “People are idiots and you shouldn’t listen,” O’Brien said. One of six children — all of whom graduated from Harvard, O’Brien is used to defying the odds. As such, she refused to give advice. Instead, she explained what she’s experienced. “Figure out your dream and be brave enough to go and live it. Otherwise, someone will hire you to go ahead and help them with their dream.”