Color of Education: An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones

BTN Wake County

This fall, the Public School Forum of North Carolina, in partnership with Duke Policy Bridge and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, hosted the first in a series of annual summits and convenings focused on race, equity and education in North Carolina under the banner “Color of Education.” The kick-off event featured award-winning New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones.

“Color of Education: An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones”was held on Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:00 PM on the campus of Duke University at Penn Pavilion. The event was sponsored in part by Capitol Broadcasting Company, Grable Foundation, UPS, Fidelity Investments, the John M Belk Endowment, and the Maynard Family Foundation.

“Nikole Hannah-Jones is one of the country’s most respected and influential voices on issues of race and education and we’re thrilled to have her kick-off this new phase of our work to address the systemic inequities and barriers facing students of color in North Carolina,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director, Public School Forum of North Carolina.

In 2019 and beyond, “Color of Education” will evolve into an annual summit as well as other statewide and regional gatherings, bringing together educators, policymakers, experts and other key stakeholders focused on achieving racial equity and eliminating racial disparities in education.

The impact of race in education was a central focus of the Public School Forum’s Study Group XVI: Expanding Education Opportunity in North Carolina. The Committee on Racial Equity’s findings and recommendations were published in October 2016. The committee covered issues such as resegregation, teacher diversity, discipline disparity and lack of access to advanced, more rigorous coursework for students of color.

About Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones covers racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine, and has spent years chronicling the way official policy has created—and maintains—racial segregation in housing and schools. Her deeply personal reports on the black experience in America offer a compelling case for greater equity.  She has written extensively on the history of racism, school resegregation, and the disarray of hundreds of desegregation orders, as well as the decades-long failure of the federal government to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act. She is currently writing a book on school segregation called The Problem We All Live With, to be published on the One World imprint of Penguin/Random House.

Her piece “Worlds Apart” in The New York Times Magazine won the 2017 National Magazine Award for “journalism that illuminates issues of national importance” as well as the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism. In 2016, she was awarded a Peabody Award and George Polk Award for radio reporting for her This American Life story, “The Problem We All Live With.” She was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, and was also named to The Root 100. Her reporting has also won Deadline Club Awards, Online Journalism Awards, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service, the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, the Emerson College President’s Award for Civic Leadership, and was a previous finalist for the National Magazine Award.

Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting with the goal of increasing the number of reporters and editors of color. She holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina and earned her BA in History and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame. For the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, she investigated social changes under Raul Castro and the impact of universal healthcare on Cuba’s educational system. She was also selected by the University of Pennsylvania to report on the impact of the Watts Riots for a study marking the 40th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report, 2007. Along with The New York Times, her reporting has been featured in ProPublicaThe Atlantic MagazineHuffington PostEssence MagazineThe Week MagazineGristPolitico Magazine, and on Face the NationThis American Life, NPR, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Democracy Now, and radio stations across the country.

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