The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP expresses its support of full tenure status for Nikole Hannah-Jones as the incoming Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
Hannah-Jones, an African-American Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark 1619 Project, was offered a five-year teaching contract. Unlike tenure status, this position would require her to prove her capability and worth at an institution that would immediately and greatly benefit from her knowledge and experience.
This unprecedented decision to treat Hannah-Jones differently from previous Knight Chairs underscores the continued mistreatment and disrespect shown to many Black scholars and professionals at the university. In addition, the lack of transparency amongst university trustees and senior administration in this disturbing case further inflames the perception of failed leadership in matters of cultural competence, inclusivity, and racial justice.
As a leading civil rights organization, we are hopeful that efforts are made quickly to offer Hannah-Jones the most appropriate tenure contract and an apology for this recruitment travesty.
The NAACP works to disrupt inequality, dismantle racism, and accelerate change in key areas including criminal justice, health care, education, climate, and the economy. For more information and to join, please visit our website.