October 31, 2013

NPR's Michelle Norris to speak at SIU

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Words matter -- especially when you have only six in which to express yourself. 

That’s just one lesson from the Race Card Project, an online bulletin board on which contributors have six words in which to say something about their own experiences with subjects involving race.

Michele Norris, leader of the Race Card Project, will visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale to present a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Student Center Ballroom D. Norris’ presentation on the project is part of the annual Michael and Nancy Glassman Distinguished Lecture Series. A reception and book signing immediately follow the lecture.

The Race Card Project follows the publication of Norris’ first book, “The Grace of Silence: A Memoir.”  The book explores what Norris learned about her own family and its race-related secrets as she set out to examine race in America after the election of the country’s first black president in 2008.

Norris is host and special correspondent for National Public Radio, including co-hosting the network’s popular “All Things Considered” flagship program. She continues working with NPR as she promotes The Race Card Project, and another project, NPR’s Backseat Book Club.

She has prior broadcast journalism experience with ABC, and as contributing correspondent for “Closer Look” segments on “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.”  As a print journalist, she worked for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Her many awards include the 2010 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award, the 2009 Journalist of the Year Award, and the 2006 Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

The University Honors Program is a major sponsor of the Glassman Lecture.