As the first African-American female host for NPR, “All Things Considered” co-host Michele Norris has unique insight into how racial background informs identity. Norris, who first tackled her own racial identity in her memoir, The Grace of Silence, went on to spearhead The Race Card Project, a national initiative asking people to write down their thoughts about race in 6 words or less. Watch Norris below talk about how the innovative project is helping to foster a candid discussion about race in America:
When we spoke to Norris in 2011 about The Race Card Project, she had received thousands of six-word submissions from people all over the globe. One year later, she has received more than 10,000 race cards.
“That six words is often the beginning of a much larger conversation,” she said.
We’ve grown accustomed to hearing Norris weekly on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” but the journalist took a self-imposed sabbatical after her husband, Broderick Johnson, took a senior role in the Obama campaign.
“To make sure there were no perceived conflicts of interest and to maintain the integrity of the news organization and my personal integrity, also, with listeners, I decided to step away from the hosting chair for the duration of the campaign,” Norris told genConnect.
She calls her position on the sidelines “a mixed blessing,” as she has now been able to devote more time to The Race Card Project. Visit her Race Card Wall to see what other people are saying about racial identity.
Share your submissions in the comment box below: What does race mean to you? Remember only six words!
genConnect is credentialed press at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., where we are interviewing the premier speakers and attendees at the conference. For more of our video interviews and articles from the Ideas Festival, click here.
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