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King Considered 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 15, 2018) – Award-winning radio journalist Michele (pronounced MEE-shel) Norris, former co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered, will headline this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. Norris’s presentation is free and open to the public.
Michele Norris

Norris was NPR's first African-American female host.

“UAlbany is pleased to welcome Norris, a journalist, author and radio personality to campus,” said Chief Diversity Officer Tamra Minor. “The campus’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration has become an annual event that allows us the opportunity to stop and reflect on Dr. King’s work and to envision the work that remains. Our effort, in keeping with Dr. King’s dream, is to create an environment where all people are respected.”

In addition to her public presentation, Norris will meet with invited students from several anthropology, biology, English and Writing and Critical Inquiry classes during an afternoon session.

“Giving our students access to national experts is part of the learning experience and we are glad that Norris has added a meeting with students to her schedule,” said MLK Committee Chair Robert Miller.

Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis added, “These are the kinds of experiences that help develop our students and prepare them to live, learn and lead in an increasingly complex world.”

Norris joined All Things Considered in 2002, becoming NPR’s first African-American female host. Prior to NPR, she was a reporter for ABC News for almost 10 years. She has also been a staff writer for The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. While at The Washington Post, she won the Livingston Award for writing about the life of a 6-year-old boy who lived in a crack house.

Norris earned both an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for her contributions to ABC News’ coverage of 9/11.

In 2006, Norris received the Salute to Excellence Award for Radio Features from the National Association of Black Journalists for her coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

She stepped away from her All Things Considered duties during the 2012 presidential campaign and returned in January 2013 as a special correspondent and host. While on sabbatical, Norris spent time traveling the country and developing two successful initiatives: The Race Card Project, which won a Peabody Award, and NPR’s Backseat Book Club.

In December 2015, Norris again left NPR to focus on The Race Card Project, in which people share their feelings and beliefs about race and identity in six words. The project has archived tens of thousands of stories from all 50 states and more than 60 countries and is now used in hundreds of schools, colleges and communities as a forum for sparking dialogue.

Norris is also an acclaimed author. Her first book, The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir, focuses on how America talks about race in the wake of the Obama presidency, and how her own complex legacy has shaped her dedication to informing others through sound and voice.

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

Norris’s appearance is being sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Association and University Auxiliary Services in collaboration with the New York State Writers Institute.

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