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Creator of 1619 Project to speak for diversity series

GRCC Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the The 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, will offer the keynote discussion for the 27th Annual Diversity Lecture Series at Grand Rapids Community College.

The event, titled “Crossroads: Academic Freedom and (the) Ivory Tower,” is planned for 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 31. It will be held virtually and will not be recorded. Registration is available here.

“The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has a storied history of inviting speakers who compel us to think beyond our comfort,” said Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s chief equity and inclusion officer, in a press release. “We are fortunate to continue this tradition with a preeminent scholar-practitioner.”

Hannah-Jones has spent her career investigating racial inequality and injustice. Her reporting has earned the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius grant, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, and the National Magazine Award three times. 

 The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times that “reframes American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year. Doing so requires us to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country,” according to the project’s introduction.

Her reporting has earned the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius grant, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, and the National Magazine Award three times. 

The Diversity Lecture Series, all virtual events, will also feature:

  • LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, at 6 p.m. on Feb. 15. 
  • Sonya Renee Taylor, founder of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company promoting radical self-love and body empowerment, at 6:30 p.m. on March 15.
  • Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli at 6 p.m. on April 6.

Registration for all events is available here.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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