Behind The Stories

Listeners React to Trayvon Martin's Death Through The Race Card Project

"Despite all the talk about America's consternation or cowardice when it comes to talking about race, I seemed to have found auditorium after auditorium full of people who were more than willing to unburden themselves on this prickly topic." – Michele Norris, NPR

For more than a year, NPR's Michele Norris has used her Race Card Project to facilitate discussions about race, a conversation recently thrust to the forefront of the American media following the killing of Florida student Trayvon Martin. As political figures and other officials use their own platforms to weigh in on the issue, less public, but equally passionate, discussions are sweeping across the country. While some express their feelings through acts of solidarity - school walkouts or wearing hoodies – many others took the opportunity to speak out through The Race Card Project's six-word essays.

After an exceptional number of Race Cards were submitted reflecting sentiments about this tragedy, NPR invited its listeners to do the same this past Tuesday.

Talk of the Nation hosts a panel discussion on race in NPR's Studio 4A (l to r): Neal Conan, Michele Martin, Keith Woods i i

hide captionTalk of the Nation hosts a panel discussion on race in NPR's Studio 4A (l to r): Neal Conan, Michele Martin, Keith Woods

Padmananda Rama/NPR
Talk of the Nation hosts a panel discussion on race in NPR's Studio 4A (l to r): Neal Conan, Michele Martin, Keith Woods

Talk of the Nation hosts a panel discussion on race in NPR's Studio 4A (l to r): Neal Conan, Michele Martin, Keith Woods

Padmananda Rama/NPR

Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan brought this national dialogue to the midday news/talk show after issuing a call-out question to listeners: how is the death of Trayvon Martin changing the conversation about race where we live, work, go to school, go to church, etc.? In a live, panel discussion, Westlake High School teacher Hassan Adeeb and Sheriff Bryan Gardner of Linn County, IA, joined NPR's Vice President for Diversity in News and Operations Keith Woods, and The Race Card Project Founder Michele Norris for a candid talk with listeners in-studio, over the phone and by email. Listen to the discussion here.

In addition, coverage from NPR's National Correspondent Corey Dade and Tell Me More host Michel Martin's interviews with Trayvon Martin's father, Tracy Martin, are available at The Two-Way blog. Michel Martin's interviews with Tracy Martin, and the family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, air this Thursday at 11:00 AM (ET) on Tell Me More. Find local NPR Member stations and broadcast times at www.npr.org/stations.

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