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Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones will headline MLK Dream Week

Creator of New York Times 1619 Project will deliver Jan. 24 keynote
Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones will deliver Northwestern's MLK keynote Jan. 24, 2022.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones has been selected as the keynote speaker for Northwestern University’s 2022 MLK Dream Week.

Each year since 1987, Northwestern University commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a series of Dream Week events. Many events are free and open to the public, including the keynote events with Hannah-Jones on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.

“Nikole Hannah-Jones was enthusiastically selected by the Dream Week 2022 committee to deliver the keynote,” said Robin R. Means Coleman, vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion. “Through investigative reporting, Hannah-Jones’ body of work examines a continued truth about racial injustice in our nation’s history and present. More, her reporting comes at a critical time when we must all be reminded to be agents of positive change in our society.

“The Dream Week 2022 committee was clear in their affirmation that Hannah-Jones’ keynote can provide us all with necessary insight into our national conversation regarding a call to action for social progress and change,” Means Coleman said.

“Nikole Hannah-Jones is not only a highly decorated and distinguished investigative journalist, she is an astute observer and critic of the systems and structures that maintain inequality in America,” said Charles Whittaker, dean of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. “It’s an honor to have her as our MLK Day Keynote speaker. Our community will benefit greatly from her insights.”

About Nikole Hannah-Jones

Hannah-Jones is an investigative reporter covering racial injustice and creator of the New York Times’ 1619 Project. Published in 2019, the 1619 Project commemorated the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery in what would become the United States, examined slavery’s modern legacy and reframed the way Americans understand history and the contributions of Black Americans to the nation. Hannah-Jones lead essay was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

In 2016, Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship program for increasing the ranks of investigative reporters of color.

Prior to the New York Times, Hannah-Jones was a reporter at ProPublica in New York, the Oregonian in Portland and the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has written extensively about school resegregation and chronicled the decades-long failure of the federal government to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act.

In addition to the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, Hannah-Jones has been awarded three National Magazine Awards, one Peabody Award, two Polk awards and a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship, among other honors. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians and was inducted into the North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2021.

About MLK Dream Week

The Northwestern University community celebrates Dr. King with an expanded special commemoration including stage events, discussions, lectures and service projects during the month of January to inspire reflection on Dr. King’s life and legacy. 

Program details for Dream Week 2022 will be available soon on Northwestern’s MLK Website.