Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and creator of the “1619 Project,” Nikole Hannah-Jones has reached a settlement with the University of North Carolina over a tenure dispute, reports The New York Times.
“The steps taken to resolve the lingering potential legal action posed by Ms. Hannah-Jones will hopefully help to close this chapter and give the university the space to focus on moving forward,” David Boliek, chair of the university’s board of trustees, said in a statement.
Boliek added that the settlement was for less than $75,000.
Last April, UNC announced that Hannah-Jones was chosen as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the school. Although she received a recommendation from the tenure committee, her tenure was initially denied by the UNC board of trustees. After protests from alumni, faculty, and students on her behalf, the board changed its decision and offered tenure.
After the ordeal, Hannah-Jones decided to resign from UNC and take her talents to Howard University where she joined the faculty as the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at the Cathy Hughes School of Communications. Also at Howard, she founded the Center of Journalism and Democracy, which aims to “focus on training and supporting aspiring journalists in acquiring the investigative skills and historical analytical expertise needed to cover the crisis our democracy is facing.”
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund Inc., which served as the legal advisors to Hannah-Jones, released a statement saying they were “pleased to have reached a settlement and believed the agreement would support the university’s work toward addressing racial inequity.”
“Ms. Hannah-Jones is grateful to have this matter behind her,” said Janai S. Nelson, the president and director-counsel of the Legal Defense Fund. “And she looks forward to continuing her professional work committed to using the power of investigative journalism to expose the truth about the manifestations of racism in our society and training the next generation of aspiring journalists to do the same at her academic home of Howard University.”