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NPR host Michele Norris to headline MLK Jr. Celebration

Michele Norris, an author and journalist, will discuss the Rev. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in her talk today at Lehigh.

Michele Norris, the award-winning host of NPR’s All Things Considered program, will deliver the keynote address today (Thursday, Jan. 24) as part of the university’s weeklong celebration of the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Her talk will discuss the themes of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which the late civil rights leader delivered 50 years ago in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The event is part of the MLK Convocation, which recognizes the work of community members in honoring King’s memory. It begins at 4:30 p.m. in Room 101 of Packard Auditorium.

Norris is headlining a week of activities that began with an opening ceremony in Baker Hall, at which members of the campus community reflected on King’s impact. The celebration concludes with a bus trip Friday (Jan. 25) to Washington, D.C., during which students, faculty and staff will visit the memorial dedicated to King and explore the civil rights movement.

The week’s events have also included days dedicated to service and education and an interfaith breakfast.

In her decades of reporting, Norris has interviewed world leaders, Nobel laureates, Oscar winners, American presidents, military leaders, influential newsmakers and astronauts.

Emmy and Peabody awards

She joined NPR in 2002, after nearly 10 years as a reporter for ABC News in the Washington Bureau. She also worked as a staff writer for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Norris has received numerous awards, earning an Emmy Award and Peabody Award for her contribution to ABC News’ coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She is a four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.

In 2009, she was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, which cited her body of work and her coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign—when she co-hosted NPR’s Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, covered both political conventions, anchored election and inauguration broadcasts and moderated a series of conversations with voters on race and politics. That series earned Norris and NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep an Alfred I. duPont -Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcasting.

In 1990, Norris received the Livingston Award for a series about a six-year-old who lived in a crack house. That series was reprinted in the book, Ourselves Among Others, along with essays by Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Annie Dillard and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

In her 2010 book, The Grace of Silence: A Memoir, Norris unearthed long hidden family secrets that raised questions about her own racial legacy and shed light on America’s racial history.

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

For more information on Lehigh’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., click here.

To reserve a spot on Friday’s bus trip to Washington, visit the Multicultural Center (University Center 208) or click here.

 

Story by Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013

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