The Race Card Project

Share your six word story!


Some background:

In the winter of 2010, as NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris began to travel the country to promote her family memoir “The Grace of Silence” she had an idea: to engage the audience at her readings, she handed out postcards like the one pictured above.  As she describes it: “I asked people to think about their experiences, questions, hopes, dreams, laments or observations about race and identity. Then, I asked that they take those thoughts and distill them to just one sentence that had only six words. People took the cards with them and mulled over the assignment. I hoped that a few might send them back to me via email or through the U.S. Postal Service. . .Dozens of those little postcards started arriving in the mail every week and bit by bit, more and more of those little six-word “essays” piled up in my inbox from all over the country, and then amazingly from all over the world.” Since she began, Michele has received more than 30,000 submissions: by email, postal mail, Twitter and Facebook.  She has created The Race Card Project™ as a website. She has promoted The Race Card Project on a few other college campuses and was amazed at the ingenuity of the students in moving from six words printed on a post card to short videos and poetry slams and plays. National Geographic has become involved. And now, Ms. Norris has agreed to work with us at the University of Oregon to promote and explore The Race Card Project on our campus and through it, address issues of race in our democracy, and the impact that the media can and does have on our national discussions.