Columbia College Chicago wrapped its 2012-13 season of its Conversations in the Arts series with NPR’s “All Things Considered” host Michele Norris on April 16. Norris’s lecture focused on race relations and “The Race Card Project,” an initiative she started in 2010 to help people become more comfortable talking about race. Norris also discussed her memoir, “The Grace of Silence,” which she said helped her to understand her background.
“I found strength in a difficult history,” said Norris. “I encourage people to think about their history.”
An award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, Michele Norris is currently a host and correspondent for NPR. She previously hosted NPR's newsmagazine “All Things Considered,” public radio's longest-running national program, with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. Before coming to NPR, Norris was a correspondent for ABC News from 1993-2002. She has also reported for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
In September 2010, Norris released her book, “The Grace of Silence: A Memoir.” The book focuses on how America talks about race in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential election and explores Norris’s own family's racial legacy. Using her memoir as a catalyst for conversation, Norris has addressed thousands of students through campus “One Book” programs, encouraging discussions about the history of race relations in the U.S.Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. Before coming to NPR, Norris was a correspondent for ABC News from 1993-2002. She has also reported for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
Norris has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2010 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for co-hosting the program, “The York Project: Race and the 2008 Vote”; the 2009 Journalist of the Year award from the National Association of Black Journalists; the National Association of Black Journalists' 2006 Salute to Excellence Award, for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina; the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award; and the 1990 Livingston Award. In 2007, she was honored with Ebony Magazine's Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications Award, and in 2009 was named one of Essence Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Black Americans.” Norris also earned an Emmy Award and Peabody Award for her contribution to ABC News' coverage of Sept. 11.
Photo credit: Jonathan Mathias