By: TORI WILSON
In 2010, former NPR journalist Michelle Norris decided to conduct an experiment that encouraged people to talk about race. This experiment had people write only six words about race on a printed postcard. These six words could have been observations or experiences they’ve had about race.
Norris received 600 of these six-worded postcards and decided to create an exhibit demonstrating identity, prejudice, pride, and most importantly, equality.
“A former colleague who works at another university brought this project to the attention of the Library Business Operations Manager, Angie Huff, who then told me about it. I brought a group together of faculty, staff and students to help plan how we would implement it here at IU South Bend. It was pure coincidence that I saw Michele Norris speaking about this project at an academic library conference last April. I was really inspired” said Vicki Bloom, Dean of Library Services at IU South Bend.
Bloom had also stated that she and her colleagues heavily promoted this project to students, faculty, staff, and the outside community.
There were boxes and cards placed around campus and an online portal was created for people to submit their six-word postcards online. With the cards, people could also submit pictures and write more about race, diversity, and inclusion.
“In terms of impact, the first steps are getting people thinking about race, inclusion, and identity and having others reflect upon their views. Bridging gaps and deepening understanding can only be done through learning about others. There is an effort underway to develop a more robust diversity initiative on campus. I am hoping that the cards can be used as a springboard for further discussions and training,” Bloom stated.
Bloom had said the exhibit has over 100 cards and she would love to see it grow, despite being unsure of whether a larger exhibit would fit in the Schurz Library.
To learn more about The Race Card project, visit https://theracecardproject.com/
To enter your own card, go to the Franklin D. Schurz Library or visit the online portal at https://theracecardproject.com/indiana-university-south-bend/