New York Times reporter brings ‘The 1619 Project’ to the UO

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and MacArthur Foundation fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones will join the University of Oregon for the School of Journalism and Communication’s annual Robert and Mabel Ruhl Endowed Lecture on Feb. 19.

As the lead writer of the New York Times Magazine’s The 1619 Project, a groundbreaking multimedia initiative observing the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves arriving in America, Hannah-Jones explores the lasting legacy of Black enslavement on the nation, specifically how Black Americans pushed for the democracy the country has today.

The 1619 Project was also the fall 2020 selection for the UO Common Reading Program.

During the virtual event, Hannah-Jones will explore the themes of The 1619 Project during a talk, panel discussion with UO faculty members and students, and audience Q&A. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Before becoming a staff writer for the Sunday New York Times Magazine, Hannah-Jones worked at ProPublica as an investigative reporter, focusing on segregation and discrimination in housing and schools. Before ProPublica, she was a reporter for The Oregonian.

This isn’t the first time Hannah-Jones has spoken at the UO. In 2016 she joined the School of Journalism and Communication as a speaker for the BE Series to discuss how smartphones and social media are democratizing the press and empowering people of color.

Hannah-Jones received the Pulitzer Prize for commentary and a George Polk Special Award for The 1619 Project. She was recognized as a Society of Professional Journalists fellow and named No. 1 on The Root’s list of the 100 most influential African Americans in 2020. She’s also the co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a news trade organization with a mission of increasing the ranks, retention and profile of reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting.

The Ruhl Lecture is sponsored by the School of Journalism and Communication and co-sponsored by the UO Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Division of Equity and Inclusion, Common Reading, Student Services and Enrollment Management, and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center. Funded by the Robert and Mabel Ruhl Endowment, the annual lecture brings the most influential voices in mass communication to campus to stimulate substantial conversations.

—By Alli Weseman,  School of Journalism and Communication