UNC denies tenure for ‘1619 Project’ creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, prompting backlash
Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones was not offered tenure from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s journalism school, following backlash from conservatives, according to NBC News.
Instead of a tenured professorship, Hannah-Jones was offered a five-year teaching contract by the Hussman School of Media and Journalism. In April, the school announced that they brought on Hannah-Jones as the Knight Chair in Race and investigative Journalism in July.
She is the first person in the role to be denied tenure by the board, The 19th reported.
Hannah-Jones created the 1619 Project for the New York Times, which teaches that the country was founded in 1619 when the first enslaved Africans were brought over and not 1776, which is commonly taught.
Hannah-Jones received critical acclaim for her work and was also criticized heavily by conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, who called the project “warped” and “distorted,” according to NBC News.
“This is a very political thing,” a trustee reportedly told Policy Watch. “The university and the board of trustees and the Board of Governors and the Legislature have all been getting pressure since this thing was first announced last month. There have been people writing letters and making calls, for and against. But I will leave it to you which is carrying more weight.”
Hannah Jones seemingly addressed the controversy over not making tenure in a tweet on Thursday.
“I have been overwhelmed by all the support you all have shown me,” she wrote. “It has truly fortified my spirit and my resolve. You all know that I will OK. But this fight is bigger than me, and I will try my best not to let you down.