NPR’s Michele Norris visits campus to discuss race in America

Michele Norris
Michele Norris

Feb. 20, 2014 - National Public Radio host and special correspondent Michele Norris visited campus Feb. 19 to present Quinnipiac University's annual Black History Month lecture, "Eavesdropping on America's Conversation on Race."

Norris discussed "The Race Card Project" and how six-word snapshots paint a vivid picture of America's attitudes and experiences about race during a fascinating moment in American history.

She created the project after the publication of her 2010 family memoir, "The Grace of Silence." In the book she turns her formidable interviewing and investigative skills on her own background to unearth long-hidden family secrets that raise questions about her racial legacy and shed new light on America's complicated racial history.

An award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, Norris currently works for NPR as a host and special correspondent, producing in-depth profiles, interviews and series, and guest hosts NPR News programs. She most recently hosted NPR's newsmagazine, "All Things Considered," public radio's longest-running national program, with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. 

Before working for NPR, Norris was a correspondent for ABC News, a post she held from 1993-2002. As a contributing correspondent for the Closer Look segments on "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," Norris reported extensively on education, inner city issues, the nation's drug problem and poverty.

Norris has also reported for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. Her Washington Post series about a six-year-old who lived in a crack house was reprinted in the book, "Ourselves Among Others," along with essays by Václav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Annie Dillard and Gabriel García Márquez.

A four-time Pulitzer Prize entrant, Norris has received numerous awards for her work, including 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 eighth Annual Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications Award. Norris also earned both an Emmy Award and Peabody Award for her contribution to ABC News' coverage of 9/11. She is on the judging committee for both the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Livingston Awards. Norris is also a frequent guest on "The Chris Matthews Show" on NBC News.

Norris attended the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in electrical engineering, and graduated from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she studied journalism.