For Immediate Release

Washington, February 4, 2020 – Michele Norris, acclaimed journalist, author, and social advocate, will moderate a panel discussion focusing on social justice at the NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri. The panel, which will be held on May 27, 2020, will feature experts from the greater St. Louis region.

For more than a decade Norris served as a host of NPR's All Things Considered where she interviewed world leaders, American presidents, Nobel laureates, leading thinkers and groundbreaking artists. She has also produced in-depth profiles, interviews and series for NPR News programs as well as special reports for National Geographic, Time Magazine, ABC News and Lifetime Television.

In 2010, Norris started The Race Card Project, a Peabody Award-winning initiative that inspires candid dialogue about race, identity, and diversity. Norris currently serves as the director of The Bridge, The Aspen Institute’s program on race, cultural identity and inclusion.

She is also the author of the critically acclaimed The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir. In the book she turns her formidable interviewing and investigative skills on her own background to unearth long hidden family secrets that raise questions about her racial legacy and shed new light on America's complicated racial history. The Grace of Silence has been selected for community reads in Minneapolis, Seattle, St Cloud, Rochester, and several college & High School campuses including Michigan State, Sacramento State, Coe College, Monmouth and USC.

“This special panel discussion will honor the NAFSA 2020 conference theme of “Innovate, Influence, Impact” by highlighting the way international education advances social justice,” said Esther D. Brimmer, NAFSA executive director and CEO. “Ms. Norris leads stimulating conversations on important issues. She adds a valuable perspective to this exchange. We are excited to have her join experts from the St. Louis region for this important dialogue.”

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


About the NAFSA Conference

NAFSA’s 72nd Annual Conference & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of professionals in international education with an expected 10,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. The conference offers a wide array of learning and networking opportunities for international educators and features more than 200 sessions and workshops focusing on the most crucial topics in international education and exchange and global learning. A major highlight of the conference is the International Education Expo Hall, which features more than 400 exhibitors representing hundreds of organizations from around the world, including colleges and universities; study abroad and intensive-English programs; embassies and government agencies; and more. The conference theme for 2020 is “Innovate, Influence, Impact.” It will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, May 24- 29, 2020. Learn more at


About NAFSA: Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at