Fusion Spotlights Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in New Doc


MIAMI: Fusion has slated for 2017 O Girls, a documentary that follows members of the first graduating class of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

O Girls, hosted by Fusion correspondent and former Harpo staffer Kimberly Brooks, premieres January 15 at 8 p.m. Each of the stories showcased in the hour-long documentary shows how education can empower young women and girls all over the world to do incredible things. Brooks speaks with The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls graduates Bongeka, Thando, Charmain, Debra and Mpumi about dealing with trauma at a young age, as well as the personal pressure to succeed after the Academy and the challenge of balancing their lives in the U.S. with their South African roots. Each of the five women showcased in O Girls are now graduating from college.

Brooks also sits down with Winfrey to discuss why she started the Academy, what her relationships are like with the girls who attended, and more. Brooks began her career as an assistant on The Oprah Winfrey Show and traveled to South Africa with Winfrey on a trip dedicated to the Academy.

“My work with these girls feels as natural to me as if they were my own children,” Winfrey told Brooks. “For me, this is what mothering was meant to be. I wanted to help girls who really wanted it. They could see the possibility for themselves, if only. If only they had the means to do it.”

“For me, this is a living, breathing story,” said Brooks. “This journey continues for all of us. As a woman of color, I am grateful for an opportunity to produce content about women of color accomplishing incredible things in this world.”

“This special has many takeaways, but at its core, this story couldn’t have been told without one person’s initial act of kindness,” added Mark Lima, the VP of news specials for Fusion and executive producer of O Girls. “Throughout the documentary, we see how Oprah’s dream of making a difference has impacted so many lives. Kim’s dedication to this project and her passion for authentic storytelling is evident, as she shares the successes of these bright, young women.”