Skip to main content

Main Stage Events & Keynote Speaker Information

Founder of The Race Card Project, Washington Post Columnist, Former NPR Host and Author Michele Norris is Coming to the CMF Annual Conference Main Stage!


Michele is smiling at the camera, wearing a dark blue shirt.

Join us for a compelling main stage discussion and an interactive experience on race and identity in America with Peabody Award-winning journalist Michele Norris. A Washington Post columnist, former NPR All Things Considered host, host of "Your Mama's Kitchen" podcast, founder of The Race Card Project™ and author of Our Hidden Conversations: What Americans Really Think About Race, Norris will advance our thinking and share actionable steps for exploring our shared humanity and finding common ground.

Through her work at The Race Card Project™, Norris has created sturdy cultural bridges through candid conversation using real stories on race, culture and identity. In 2010, Norris began inviting people to distill their thoughts on the word race to only six words. Since then, The Race Card Project™ has collected more than 500,000 postcards from all 50 states and 96 countries. 

Today, these powerful six-word memoirs kickstart honest conversations that leave people with a better sense of each other, and themselves, through a variety of tools and resources. The goal is to tap into the stories, people and threads that make up our complex cultural landscape and then engage people to talk across difference, race, inclusion and identity.

A Descendant of Turtle Mountain, a Renowned International Speaker, Digital Creator and Author James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw is Coming to the Main Stage!

Headshot for James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw, in a black suit jacket and black buttondown shirt, smiling at the camera and standing outside next to a mossy covered tree

James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw, a descendant of Turtle Mountain and renowned international speaker, author and digital creator, will be a featured keynote speaker at the CMF Annual Conference this fall. 

He’s known on Instagram and Facebook for his series of short videos on Indigenous language and culture, as well as his recent book, "The Seven Generations and the Seven Grandfather Teachings."

His keen insights were developed through speaking with and recording elders and native language speakers across North America as part of the Ojibwe Language Dictionary Project. 

James is a passionate advocate for sharing how to live a life of "mino-bimaadiziwin," the good life. For over 20 years, he has facilitated community language tables, consulted with public and private organizations on language and cultural programs and traveled internationally as a keynote speaker. He has been featured in numerous publications, podcasts, radio and television programs. 

James lives in the Twin Cities, Minnesota with his wife and son.

Additional keynotes will be announced this summer!