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Martin Luther King Legacy Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy DayThe Babson community remembers, reflects upon, and celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This annual event initiates and continues conversations about the realization of King's vision of justice, equality, and peace in our own community and in the world at large.

13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day


Wednesday, February 17, 2016
5–7 p.m.
Keynote address followed by cocktail reception
Carling-Sorenson Theater

Keynote Speaker: Michele Norris
Michele Norris is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience.  She is currently a host and special correspondent for NPR.  Previously, Norris served as co-host of NPR's newsmagazine All Things Considered, public radio's longest-running national program, with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. Norris began hosting the program in December, 2002 and stepped away from her All Things Considered duties during the 2012 presidential campaign.  While on sabbatical, Norris spent a time traveling the country and developing two successful initiatives: The Race Card Project and NPR's Backseat Book Club. Her new role will allow her to continue this work while producing in-depth segments for all NPR programs.

In September, 2010, Norris 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, and explores her own family's racial legacy.  It has been called one of the best books of 2010 by The Christian Science Monitor. Using her memoir as a catalyst for conversation, Norris has addressed thousands of students through campus “One Book” programs, encouraging discussions about the history of race relations in the US.
Before coming to NPR, Norris was a correspondent for ABC News, a post she held from 1993 - 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. Norris has also 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.
Norris has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2010 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for she and co-host Steve Inskeep’s program, “The York Project: Race and the 2008 Vote”; the 2009 Journalist of the Year award from the National Association of Black Journalists; 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, and in 2009 was named one of Essence Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Black Americans.” 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 Awards. Norris is also a frequent guest on The Chris Matthews Show on NBC News.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Day Creativity Contest

The theme for Babson’s 13th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Day is “Creating Empathy by Sharing Stories of Race and Identity.” The keynote speaker for the event is Michele Norris. She is a national journalist, the author of the family memoir The Grace of Silence, and the founder of the Peabody Award-winning The Race Card Project, which began as an experiment to get people to talk about race by sharing 6-word essays on their personal experiences and observations. 
In honor of Michele Norris and her use of varied rhetorical forms (such as radio journalism, long-form nonfiction, and social media) as points of access to discuss race and other subjects, we invite all current undergraduate and graduate students to participate in a creativity contest which considers and responds to some or all of the following:

  • Share your 6-word “Race Card” along with stories that have shaped your experience. Project into the future how your experience with race will influence your life.
  • The Race Card Project is a play on the phrase “playing the race card,” framing race as a form of currency. What is exchanged with this identity? What is gained and what is lost?
  • How can social media create spaces for conversations about race that encourage meaningful exchanges rather than shallow discourse?
  • Norris has travelled extensively and written about geography and its relationship to race.  How do you see this relationship enacted in your own life or in the lives of others?
  • What memoirs have shaped your views on race? 

All submissions must be received by midnight on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

See contest rules and prizes​.

2014 Contest Winners

View photos from past Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day celebrations »​​​​​​​​​​