The Grace of Silence

One Minneapolis One Read

"The Grace of Silence"

Read the book. Join the conversation. One Minneapolis, One Read is Minneapolis’ first-ever community read where everyone in town is invited to read the same book. One Minneapolis, One Read will bring people in the city together and spark conversations about race, family and neighborhood history. The book is “The Grace of Silence” by Minneapolis native and National Public Radio host Michele Norris. This memoir describes the experience of the Norrises as the first black family on the block in a south Minneapolis neighborhood.


The idea for a community read emerged following a controversial debate over a Minneapolis dog park. Neighbors wanted to find ways to talk about race and increase understanding. The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Libraries and Minneapolis Public Schools are promoting literacy and respectful public dialogue in this initiative. Minneapolis residents can play a positive role in their communities and explore important – sometimes difficult – issues that they face as a community by reading “The Grace of Silence” and getting involved.

Download the first chapter »

Events

 

South High School Race Card display

 
 

South High School Race Card display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South High School Race Card display: These are photos of a South High display created by students reading “The Grace of Silence.” The students Skyped with author Michele Norris in September as part of the One Minneapolis One Read launch. The display is filled with the six-word phrases that students used as part of Michele Norris’ Race Card exercise. (photos courtesy of Kate Towle)

Here’s how two South High seniors explain how the Race Card display came to be:

V.O.I.C.E.S. (Values, Options, Issues, Choices, Explored in Society), a class offered at Minneapolis South High School, has been participating in the One Minneapolis, One Read discussion of race.  Each V.O.I.C.E.S student received The Grace of Silence during a Skype call in which Michele Norris introduced us to her new book.  Students have gone to interviews with Michele, like the MPR Guthrie event, as well as had class discussions about The Grace of Silence.  The V.O.I.C.E.S students participated in Michele’s exercise: Race in Six Words on The Grace of Silence website.  Then we put together a banner displaying each student’s thoughts on race in six words or less.  It hangs at South High in hope that our school will discuss race more often in the classroom.  Since, the V.O.I.C.E.S class has been reading To Be Free, a supplemental reading about race donated to us by S.T.A.R.T (Students Together Against Racial Tension) a student run group at South High.  

One Minneapolis One Read on digital billboards

You might have already seen some of the One Minneapolis One Read digital billboards that are up around town. The space is provided by Clear Channel Outdoor on eight billboards in Minneapolis through the end of February. Here are a few shots that Clear Channel snapped on November 21, 2011.:

7th St. at Hennepin Ave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

94W at W. Broadway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch videos connected to One Minneapolis One Read

Comcast Newsmakers features One Minneapolis One Read in December: You can catch co-chairs Lois Langer Thompson and Elizabeth Glidden on Comcast Newsmakers during the month of December. The 5-minute segment, hosted by Colleen Needles, airs during Headline News. You can also watch it here: Comcast Newsmakers One Minneapolis One Read.

Public Service Announcement (PSA) airing in December: A short, 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) will be airing during December on Comcast Cable channels in Minneapolis. You can see the PSA here: PSA One Minneapolis One Read.

One Minneapolis One Read: YWCA of Minneapolis: It’s Time to Talk Forum: This clip features a conversation with Linda Chavez, moderated by Sandra Vargas at the “YWCA: It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race” luncheon at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Oct. 18, 2011.  YWCA: It’s Time to Talk

One Minneapolis One Read: YWCA: It’s Time to Talk Forum, closing remarks: This video clip features One Minneapolis One Read Co-chair and City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden explaining how the community read came about. She gave this speech as closing remarks at the “YWCA: It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race” luncheon at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Oct. 18, 2011.  YWCA: It’s Time to Talk Closing Remarks

Listen to Michele Norris and Kerri Miller at the Guthrie: Listen to the rebroadcast as author and NPR’s Michele Norris talks with MPR News host Kerri Miller at the Guthrie Theater, Oct. 3. This is the rebroadcast posted to the MPR website, www.mpr.org. Guthrie event MPR rebroadcast (audio)

Watch Michele Norris and Kerri Miller at the Guthrie: Click on the following link to view the entire video of the Oct. 3 Guthrie event with NPR’s Michele Norris and MPR News host Kerri Miller. Guthrie event: full video

Want to see just a few clips? Click on the following link to view video clips from the Oct. 3 Guthrie event with NPR’s Michele Norris and MPR News host Kerri Miller. Guthrie event: a few video clips

The full Guthrie video rebroadcast is playing daily on City 14 in Minneapolis (one of the City-operated cable channels) at  5:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 9 p.m. (channel 14).

Watch rebroadcasts of other One Read Week events

In addition, Comcast staff also videotaped events during One Read Week. These programs are made available through the generosity of Comcast, one of our One Minneapolis One Read partners. You can click the web link,or watch the programs through Comcast on Demand:

“Voices: The Next Generation,” Hennepin County Central Library’s Pohlad Room, Oct. 4 One Minneapolis One Read Voices at the Library

“Minneapolis Community and Technical College Forum,” MCTC, Oct. 5 One Minneapolis One Read Forum at MCTC

How to watch the events on Comcast on Demand: You’ll need to have Comcast service and a cable box. Go to Channel 001, scroll to “Get Local.”  Push select. Scroll to “One Mpls, One Read.”  Push Select. The 2 videos will show up there.  Just select the one you want to watch. These videos will be seen in the entire Twin Cities Comcast coverage area, so you won’t have to live in Minneapolis to see the programs.

Read about the One Minneapolis, One Read program at the Adult Corrections Facility.
During One Read week Michele Norris visited the Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility to discuss “The Grace of Silence.”  To view the program report click here.

Lively conversationDiscussing "The Grace of Silence"
On November 15, 2011 educator and storyteller Beverly Cottman led a book  club meeting and conversation as part of “One Minneapolis One Read.” A lively crowd discussed Michele Norris’ family memoir “The Grace of Silence.” The evening was co-sponsored by the Givens Foundation for African-American Literature and Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

Conversation facilitators available from the YWCA of Minneapolis
Explore the themes of race, family and identity that arise in “The Grace of Silence.”  YWCA of Minneapolis Racial Justice Facilitators are available to help guide your conversations and provide thought-provoking questions as your group reflects on the words of Michele Norris, as well as members’ own experiences.  The YWCA will personally match a facilitator with your group.  A facilitated conversation is a great way to help your group have meaningful discussions in a safe environment.  Schedule your conversation today.  Request Form.

 

Mark Your Calendars

February 6, 2012, 7-9 p.m., “The Grace of Silence” Discussion, Washburn Library , Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St., Minneapolis. February is “I Love to Read” and “Black History” months. Read and discuss “The Grace of Silence,” Michele Norris’ memoir of her family as the first African American family on their south Minneapolis block. The discussion will explore neighborhood histories in the context of race, and how this impacts current race relations in America. To register, call Washburn Community Education at 612-668-3450. 

February 11, 2012: Community Connections Conference: Building Better Communities Through Neighborhoods

February 11, 2012, 10 a.m.-noon, Minneapolis Community Education “Grace of Silence” book discussion, Pratt, 66 Malcolm Ave. SE., Minneapolis,  visit www.mplscommunityed.com/ to register.

February 12, 2012, 1:30 p.m., One Read: Interviews Premiere, North Regional Library, Grades 6-12. Attend the premiere of videos on race relations. A group of Minneapolis teens teamed up with MVStudio last fall to interview family members or someone in their community about their experiences with race relations. Discussion will follow videos. 

February 25, 2012, 2-3 p.m.,One Minneapolis One Read: Challenges of Black Genealogy, Sumner Library,
Registration required, begins Jan 28. Register online or call 612-543-6875. Master storyteller and librarian Jerry Blue will share the experience of tracing his family history. He also will demonstrate resources to help you dig up your own black roots. 

Hennepin County Library will be presenting programs from October through winter 2012 in support of One Minneapolis, One Read.  For details, please visit hclib.org and keyword search “One Minneapolis” under the Events & Classes tab.

About

About One Minneapolis, One Read

The idea for a community read was inspired by Building Bridges, a group of residents in south Minneapolis neighborhoods whose mission is to understand how race and racism impact our communities. Instead of walking away from difficult discussions on a recent racially-polarizing local issue, the community wanted to find a way to help promote better understanding and enable more discussion. Norris’ aunt, Doris Christopher, is one of the leaders of Building Bridges.

Download the One Minneapolis, One Read fact sheet or the One Minneapolis, One Read press release.

Here are links to some recent news coverage:

http://www.swjournal.com/index.php?&story=17658&page=152&category=63

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2011/11/08/one-read-minneapolis-michele-norriss-grace-silence

 

Participate

Ways to get involved

You can join a group event or come up with something on your own. Be creative!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Read “The Grace of Silence”
  • Sponsor a book discussion – book guide
  • Host a movie and discussion that explores issues of race
  • Explore and discover the history of your neighborhood in the context of race
  • Encourage listening to family and friends and record those conversations
  • Download the One Minneapolis, One Read toolbox of ideas

You can learn more about “The Grace of Silence” and Michele Norris’ efforts to engage people in conversation about race at www.michele-norris.com.

 Conversation facilitators available from the YWCA of Minneapolis

Explore the themes of race, family and identity that arise in “The Grace of Silence.”  YWCA of Minneapolis Racial Justice Facilitators are available to help guide your conversations and provide thought-provoking questions as your group reflects on the words of Michele Norris, as well as members’ own experiences.  The YWCA will personally match a facilitator with your group.  A facilitated conversation is a great way to help your group have meaningful discussions in a safe environment.  Schedule your conversation today.  Request Form.

Use the One Minneapolis, One Read logo or poster template to promote your event. For the poster template or other formats of the logo: OneRead@minneapolismn.gov.

For teachers: Curriculum Guide

To sign up to receive information by email: OneRead@minneapolismn.gov.

Here’s an example of workplace activities. At Gray Plant Mooty law firm, they

  • launched their own internal “One GPM, One Read” program at their offices in Minneapolis, St. Cloud and Washington, D.C.
  • scheduled wide-ranging discussions in mid-October that coincide with other One Minneapolis, One Read public events
  • utilized a facilitator provided by the YWCA
  • scheduled a luncheon in February, which is Black History Month, for firm members to hear a presentation on Lena O. Smith, the state’s first African American female attorney
  • arranged for a bulk purchase of the book

Let us know how you are participating at: OneRead@minneapolismn.gov.

The Book

“The Grace of Silence”

If you’d like to read the book, it can be checked out (hard cover or CD audiobook) or downloaded from the Hennepin County Library. To reserve a copy or download the book, go to the library’s website and enter the book title in the Search Catalog box. The book is also available for purchase in hard cover, e-reader and paperback.

For more on the book, visit: :   www.michele-norris.com.

Partners

Partners

Gray Plant Mooty             YWCA       Minneapolis Parks and Recreation     

MacFarland Cahill      Kreative Smith