Creator of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones REJECTS UNC's tenure offer

Creator of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones REJECTS UNC's tenure offer
Creator of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones REJECTS UNC's tenure offer

Creator of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones has rejected the University of North Carolina's offer of tenured position and will be accepting a role at Howard University instead.

Hannah-Jones announced Tuesday she will become a member of the historically black university's Cathy Hughes School of Communication and will also lead its newly created Center for Journalism and Democracy to train the next generation of African-American reporters. 

Speaking on Gayle King on CBS This Morning, she said: '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.  

'In the storied tradition of the Black press, the Center for Journalism and Democracy will help produce journalists capable of accurately and urgently covering the challenges of our democracy with a clarity, skepticism, rigor and historical dexterity that is too often missing from today's journalism.' 

One week ago, trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill approved Hannah-Jones' tenure, capping weeks of tension that began when a board member halted the process over over concerns about her teaching credentials because she did not come from a 'traditional academic-type background'. 

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Hannah-Jones told CBS This Morning on Tuesday that she will become a member of the historically black university's Cathy Hughes School of Communication

Hannah-Jones told CBS This Morning on Tuesday that she will become a member of the historically black university's Cathy Hughes School of Communication

Faculties of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media said Saturday they were 'disappointed, but not surprised' at Hannah Jones's decision to turn down the school's offer. 

The UNS position was offered to Hannah-Jones last Wednesday, with the board accepting her application with a vote of 9-4 at a three-hour special meeting that included a closed-door session following weeks of tension that began when a board member halted the process. 

An ugly brawl erupted as a small group of protesters stormed into the session and refused to leave the area when police attempted to usher them out. 

They regathered just outside the room, using a bullhorn to shout their frustrations at police who they said pushed them out of the room. 

The board of trustees went into the closed-door session soon after the meeting began, which is a standard practice when discussing personnel matters, according to The Daily Tar Heel

Officials had reportedly not communicated the process with the public - which frustrated the demonstrated who were asked to leave the room.

Hannah-Jones wrote in a tweet that the confusion led to black students getting 'shoved and punched' instead of attempts to de-escalate the situation. 

'It should have been communicated how this meeting would go, that tenure proceedings are always held in closed session, and an attempt made to de-escalate. Instead Black students were shoved and punched because they were confused about the process. This is not right,' Hannah-Jones tweeted. 

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Demonstrators are removed from a closed session meeting of the UNC-Chapel Hill trustees Wednesday as the board prepared to discuss and vote on tenure for distinguished journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones

Demonstrators are removed from a closed session meeting of the UNC-Chapel Hill trustees Wednesday as the board prepared to discuss and vote on tenure for distinguished journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones

They regathered just outside the room, using a bullhorn to shout their frustrations at police who they said pushed them out of the room

They regathered just outside the room, using a bullhorn to shout their frustrations at police who they said pushed them out of the room

Officials had reportedly not communicated the process with the public - which frustrated the demonstrated who were asked to leave the room

Officials had reportedly not communicated the process with the public - which frustrated the demonstrated who were asked to leave the room

The students who had protested outside of the meeting had chanted 'No Justice! No Peace'

The students who had protested outside of the meeting had chanted 'No Justice! No Peace'

Police are seen confronting protesters who descended on Wednesday's closed-door meeting

Police are seen confronting protesters who descended on Wednesday's closed-door meeting

She added: 'To be clear: My legal team did not request the closed session. The closed session is the normal procedure for tenure votes and our desire was, for the first time in this process, to be treated by the [board of trustees] like every other tenure candidate.' 

The students who had protested outside of the meeting had chanted 'No Justice! No Peace,' The State reported.

Julia Clark, the vice president of the UNC Black Student Movement, told the outlet that an officer who told her to move back had 'felt threatened.' 

'Be afraid,' Clark said. 'Be afraid. I want you to be scared, because we are scared on this campus every day.'

The organization's president Taliajah 'Teddy' Vann told The State she was frustrated that the board went into closed session and would not vote in public.

'What are you hiding?' Vann said, according to the outlet.

She added: 'Y'all think y'all are safe hiding behind those doors? You're not. Because our voices will be heard regardless.'

Protesters and interested parties gather outside the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill on Wednesday where the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees voted on tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones

Protesters and interested parties gather outside the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill on Wednesday where the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees voted on tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones

A small group of protesters refused to leave the meeting room and police attempted to usher them out

A small group of protesters refused to leave the meeting room and police attempted to usher them out

Deborah Dwyer, a doctoral candidate, holds a sign while gathered with fellow students and alumni on the steps of Carroll Hall, where the UNC-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media is located

Deborah Dwyer, a doctoral candidate, holds a sign while gathered with fellow students and alumni on the steps of Carroll Hall, where the UNC-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media is located

The protesters only reportedly calmed down when Lamar Richards, the school's student body president and a member of the Board of Trustees, called one of the protesters and explained why the tenure discussion would not be in public.

Richards tweeted shortly after the phone call: 'The reason for this is crucial because depending on any outcome of this meeting we do not want there to be any contest made that could potentially impact/ interfere w/ stuff in the future surrounding this issue.'

'Our fight is for her to be treated the same as every other candidate,' he added.

Hannah-Jones wrote in a tweet that the confusion led to black students getting 'shoved and punched' instead of attempts to de-escalate the situation

Hannah-Jones wrote in a tweet that the confusion led to black

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