Nikole Hannah-Jones Declines UNC Job, Will Join Howard University Faculty

Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones announced Tuesday (July 6) she’s joining the faculty of Howard University after the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill initially denied her bid for tenure.

Hannah-Jones, creator of The 1619 Project, made the announcement on CBS This Morning with Gayle King, and came after the Board of Trustees at UNC initially denied the Pulitzer Prize winner tenure. Protests from students, alumni, and faculty led school officials to reverse their decision and offer Hannah-Jones tenure on June 30. 

Hannah-Jones will join Howard as the Knight Chair in Race and Journalism and will help establish a brand new Center for Journalism and Democracy at the school, according to CNN

“We are at a critical juncture in our democracy, and yet our press does not reflect the nation it serves and too often struggles to grasp the danger for our country as we see growing attacks on free speech and the fundamental right to vote,” Hannah-Jones said in a statement.

“In the storied tradition of the Black press, the Center for Journalism and Democracy will help produce journalists capable of accurately and urgently covering the challenges of our democracy with a clarity, skepticism, rigor and historical dexterity that is too often missing from today’s journalism.”

In addition to Hannah-Jones, Howard is also bringing best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates on to its faculty. Coates is set to join the faculty of the College of Fine Arts and Sciences

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