Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones explained why she declined an offer of tenure from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, saying in an interview with CBS This Morning that the extended controversy over the University's initial decision not to grant her tenure, and the last-minute reversal, made accepting the position hard to stomach. "To be denied it, and 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."
Hannah-Jones will instead join Howard University.
The UNC Board of Trustees' initial decision not to grant tenure to Hannah-Jones, the creator of the New York Times' 1619 Project, sparked a huge national backlash and protests on campus. Hannah-Jones says political pressure from those who opposed her work - and racial and gender bias - were behind the Boards' initial decision.
In a statement, Hannah-Jones wrote, “For too long, powerful people have expected the people they have mistreated and marginalized to sacrifice themselves to make things whole. The burden of working for racial justice is laid on the very people bearing the brunt of the injustice, and not the powerful people who maintain it. I say to you: I refuse."
“To the students, I am deeply sorry that I will not have the privilege of teaching you and learning from you. You are brave and full of grace, and I am so very proud of you all.