Spring 2009 – Michele Norris

*On March 6, 2009, Michele Norris presented the lecture “Race, Gender, and the Future of Leadership in America.”

Michele Norris, an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, is a former NPR host and special correspondent. She is the leader of the “Race Card Project,” an initiative to foster a wider conversation about race in America. Norris is also the author of the memoir “The Grace of Silence.”

From December 2002 to 2012, Norris hosted National Public Radio’s news magazine “All Things Considered,” the longest-running national public radio program, with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. She was the first African-American female host for National Public Radio.

Before coming to NPR, Norris was a correspondent for ABC News, a post she held from 1993 to 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. She also has 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. In 2009, she was named one of Essence magazine’s 25 Most Influential Black Americans and was elected to Ebony magazine’s Power 150 List. 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 Award.

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

For more information on Michele Norris, please visit www.michele-norris.com.