, the creator of The New York
Times’ “1619 Project
,” has stated that she is considering legal action against the University of North Carolina
, Chapel Hill after being denied tenure
for her new position with the university.
“I had no intention of causing turmoil or a political firestorm at the university that I love, but I feel obligated to fight back against a wave of anti-democratic suppression that seeks to prohibit the free exchange of ideas, silence Black voices
, and chill free speech,” Hannah-Jones said in a statement Friday.
, UNC announced that the prolific Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
would join the university's Hussman journalism
school as the Knight chair in race and investigative journalism, a position held by someone recognized as a highly respected news
leader who brings "insights about journalism and [supports] elevating it in the academy."
Despite the prestigious appointment, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees did not offer Hannah-Jones a tenured position, causing outrage among Hannah-Jones supporters and UNC faculty.
“This failure is especially disheartening because it occurred despite the Hussman Dean’s, Hussman faculty’s, and university’s support for Hannah-Jones’ appointment as a full professor with tenure,” read a statement issued last week by 40 members of the Hussman School faculty.
The faculty also noted that two previous Knight chairs were appointed with tenure.
Legal Defense Fund will represent Hannah-Jones, according to her Friday statement.