Howard University announced Tuesday that the creator of the 1619 Project and one of the most recognized race journalists in America would join the school’s faculty, according to a press release.
Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates will join the university as professors, according to a statement from the university.
Hannah-Jones will be a tenured member and fill the newly-created Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, the university said.
BREAKING: @nhannahjones declines the offer from UNC Chapel Hill and will be the inaugural and tenured Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at @HowardU. pic.twitter.com/Fk40h47J8q
— Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) July 6, 2021
Coates will found the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which will train journalists in acquiring the investigative skills ”needed to cover the crisis our democracy is facing,” the university’s statement said.
“At such a critical time for race relations in our country, it is vital that we understand the role of journalism in steering our national conversation and social progress,” said Wayne Frederick, president of Howard University. “Not only must our newsrooms reflect the communities where they are reporting, but we need to infuse the profession with diverse talent. We are thrilled that they will bring their insights and research to what is already a world-class, highly accomplished team of professors.”
It was previously announced that Hannah-Jones would be joining the faculty of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in April, but she said in an interview Tuesday that the university’s backtrack of tenure in May led her to pass on the position.
“To be denied it, to only have that vote occur on the last possible day, at the last possible moment, after threat of legal action, after weeks of protest, after it became a national scandal, it’s just not something that I want anymore,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
“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 the statement.
Coates is currently working on a “Superman” reboot with a black lead and will join the university after completing several responsibilities, the statement said. (RELATED: Coates: Trump Presidency Is A ‘Negation’ Of Having A Black President)
“I heard a wise man once say, ‘A man who hates home will never be happy.’ And it is in the pursuit of wisdom and happiness that I return to join the esteemed faculty of Howard University.” Coates said. “Personally, I know of no higher personal honor than this.”
Howard University did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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