Chicago State University will award Nikole Hannah-Jones with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during the University’s 370th commencement ceremony on May 18, 2023, at the Emil & Patricia A. Jones Convocation Center.
Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and staff writer who covers civil rights and racial injustice topics for The New York Times Magazine. The book adaptation of the 1619 Project, as well as the 1619 Project Children’s book, and Born on the Water were instant #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her 1619 Project is now a six-part docu series on Hulu.
“Ms. Hannah-Jones is an embodiment of everything CSU stands for,” said President Zaldwaynaka ‘Z’ Scott, President of Chicago State University. “Her commitment to the transformation of students’ lives contributes towards the testament of how important education, coupled with innovation and research is. I have no doubt that she will serve as a great source of inspiration to our students, staff, faculty and the community.”
Hannah-Jones spent her career navigating racial inequality and injustice. Prior to joining the New York Times, Hannah-Jones was an investigative reporter for ProPublica in New York City covering segregation in housing and schools. Before that, she covered numerous beats for the largest daily newspaper in the Pacific Northwest – The Oregonian. In 2022, she opened the 1619 Freedom School – a free afterschool literacy program in her hometown at Waterloo, Iowa. She founded the Center for Journalism & Democracy at Howard University where she also serves as the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism. She also co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which seeks to increase the number of investigative reporters, journalists, and editors of color.