Social media react to Nikole Hannah-Jones’ denial of UNC position


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Less than a week after the UNC granted the warrant to Nikole Hannah-Jones, the acclaimed journalist declined the post and cited her alma mater’s atypical delay in her review. The news, announced on “CBS This Morning”, rocked social media both locally and nationally.

Since reports were published in May about the university’s board of trustees delaying Hannah-Jones’ tenure application for “political” reasons, several UNC leaders have expressed support for Hannah-Jones and granted her tenure through normal processes. This included the Dean of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media Susan King, who invited Hannah-Jones to join the faculty. UNC student body president Lamar Richards and faculty governance committee chair Mimi Chapman have also regularly shared their support for the acclaimed journalist.

All three shared their emotions around Hannah-Jones’ decision on Tuesday.

Much of the campus community’s response to the controversy came from the black faculty at UNC. From organizing protests to sharing department-wide statements, faculty members have criticized the university’s history of mistreating its BIPOC communities. Several professors and academic staff have taken up positions at other schools as a result of Hannah-Jones’ delay in tenure.

On Tuesday, members of the Carolina Black Caucus, an organization of black educators at UNC, shared their thoughts with Hannah-Jones who declined the UNC offer. The faculty at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media also shared a statement and additional thoughts on Twitter.

In addition to Hannah-Jones’ announcement of the decline of the UNC post, she announced that she would instead join the Howard University faculty as a Knight Chair and establish the Center for Journalism and Democracy in school.

Several black journalists and academics across the country shared their thoughts on the news, highlighting how the role aims to educate future black students for decades to come.

Hannah-Jones’ full statement on her decision to turn down a post at UNC can be read on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund website.


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