National Public Radio’s Michele Norris Headlines Colorado State University’s Diversity Symposium Tomorrow

National Public Radio’s Michele Norris will headline this year’s Diversity Symposium at Colorado State University. Norris, co-host of NPR’s longest-running national program, “All Things Considered,” will kick off this year’s events with her keynote address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Norris, an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, began hosting “All Things Considered” with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block in 2002. In 2010, she released her first book, “The Grace of Silence: A Memoir,” which focuses on how America talks about race in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential election. The book, which also explores the author’s own family racial legacy, has been called one of the best of 2010 by The Christian Science Monitor.

Before coming to NPR, Norris was a correspondent for ABC News, a post she held from 1993-2002. Norris has also reported for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

A four-time Pulitzer Prize entrant, Norris has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2010 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award; the 2009 Journalist of the Year award from the National Association of Black Journalists; and the National Association of Black Journalists’ 2006 Salute to Excellence Award for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, she was honored with Ebony Magazine’s eighth Annual Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications Award, and in 2009 was named one of Essence Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Black Americans.”

Colorado State’s Diversity Symposium will be held Sept. 20-22 in the Lory Student Center. “The Challenge of Civility" is the theme of this year’s symposium and will address topics concerning the necessary tools needed to deal with sensitive issues in a respectful and dignified manner in the context of a diverse society. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Over the course of three days, more than 30 sessions will be offered to the Colorado State University community to provide engagement in intelligent, thought-provoking discussions on a wide range of topics such as inclusion, social justice and fostering a supportive learning environment.

Some of the sessions include:

– Former state of Colorado Congressmen Bob Beauprez and David Skaggs will discuss the rise of acrimony and hostility in American politics today and whether there is anything that can be done to solve the issue.

– A University Distinguished Teaching Scholar will discuss ideas for raising children so that they understand privilege and diversity in the complex world we live in.

– An assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures will talk about the agenda of Arab youth in uprisings and evidence that their motive is to push for the implementation of a civil society that respects the rights of its citizens.

– A panel will discuss civility in the workplace, encouraging the audience to give examples of interventions and positive behaviors that moved a work group from a less civil to more civil environment.

– An interactive discussion on color blindness versus color awareness will include key definitions of racism and color blindness; ask the audience to reflect on personal beliefs; and seek to enhance understanding of how institutional racism impacts students in university setting.

Visit for a full list of sessions and speakers.

About CSU’s Diversity Conference

In 2001, Colorado State held its first Diversity Summit, “Undergraduate Student Retention and Diversity,” for a select number of invited deans, department heads and directors. The summit took place off CSU’s campus and lasted for one day. In 2002, the summit opened its doors to the CSU and Fort Collins communities but still only took place for one day.

The 2004 Diversity Summit, “Grounding Ourselves in Diversity: Data, Dialogue and Direction for the Future,” marked the first all-inclusive diversity conference with faculty, students, Front Range Community College, Aims Community College, University of Northern Colorado, Athletics, Colorado State University Police Department, Poudre Valley Health Systems, Fort Collins Area Chamber, Northern Colorado Mortgage Company and a state representative presenting workshops or participating in events. As the evident need for discussion about diversity at Colorado State grew, the one-day summit evolved into the three-day symposium that it is today.

Over the years, themes have changed with the times to spark discussion about diversity. Specially selected presenters lead workshops or host panels that create a safe place for conference attendees to explore issues surrounding race, color, gender, disability, religion, national origin, economical standing and sexual orientation.

Each conference hosts inspirational and provocative guest speakers who address each theme. In the past, invited guests have included Monfort Professors such as journalist Ray Suarez; actor Edward James Olmos’ Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space; and, Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For more information about CSU’s Diversity Symposium, visit