Having Hard Conversations: Michele Norris — The Race Card Project

Thursday, May 30, 2024 | 6:30 p.m.

$15 | Friedman Family Auditorium

Join Planet Word for a provocative and dynamic discussion on the impact of how we view race in America with Peabody Award–winning journalist Michele Norris as we kick off our new series, Having Hard Conversations.

Planet Word believes that Words Matter. And we believe that it matters how we use them: to build bridges or to divide — our choice. In this election year and at a time when division seems to be preventing our institutions from working smoothly, Planet Word is proud to launch an important series of programs called Having Hard Conversations.

Over the next five months, we’ll introduce you to several people who have made it part of their life’s work to bring people together. They have fearlessly promoted conversations on the most difficult issues and have shown us how to talk to each other with civility, empathy, and an open mind. They’ll show us techniques for having difficult discussions without dissolving into antagonism and recriminations.

For anyone who cares about how we use words and language to build a tolerant, functioning democracy, this series is for you.

In her insightfully perceptive book, Our Hidden Conversations, Norris offers a transformative dialogue on race and identity, unearthed through her decade-long work with The Race Card Project. With a seemingly simple prompt — “Race. Your Thoughts. Six Words. Please Send.” — over half a million people have submitted stories, revealing an insurmountable array of emotions from fear and pain to triumph and sometimes even humor.

Planet Word is honored to welcome Michele Norris for this moving discussion on how Our Hidden Conversations reminds us that even during times of great division, honesty, grace, and a willing ear can provide a bridge toward empathy and maybe even understanding.

5:30 p.m. — Light refreshments
6:30 p.m. — Program begins
7:30 p.m. — Book signing*

*Copies of Our Hidden Conversations will be available for purchase onsite

Michele Norris is one of America’s most trusted voices in journalism, earning several honors over a long career, including Peabody, Emmy, Dupont, and Goldsmith awards. She is a columnist for The Washington Post Opinion Section, the host of the Audible Original Podcast Your Mama’s Kitchen, and the founding director of The Race Card Project.

This program is part of the Having Hard Conversations series aimed at fostering constructive dialogue in an era of increasing polarization. With support from the Ibis Group, the Having Hard Conversations series seeks to equip attendees with the tools to engage respectfully in disagreement over critical issues.

For questions or concerns regarding accessibility needs, please contact [email protected].

Michele Norris Photograph © Eli Turner Photography