Nikole Hannah-Jones will headline this MLK event

Nikole Hannah-Jones was announced as the keynote speaker at Rochester Institute of Technology’s 2023 Expressions of King’s Legacy event.

Hannah-Jones is best known for the largely discredited '1619 Project.'

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will host 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones as the keynote speaker for its annual Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) event. 

The event, titled "Expressions of King’s Legacy," is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2023 and will celebrate “the life and impact of [MLK].”

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

Keith Jenkins, RIT Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, told RIT News that “[w]e are elated to welcome a journalist and scholar of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s caliber to serve as the keynote for this long-running annual tradition at RIT.”

Hannah-Jones’ famous initiative for The New York Times, The 1619 Project, “contextualiz[es] the systems of race and caste that still define so much of American life today," claiming that the real birth of America was not in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but in 1619 with the first arrival of slaves on American shores.

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Hannah-Jones' work on the 1619 Project has been criticized heavily by many academic historians.

Because of this, Oklahoma legislators attempted to prohibit 1619 Project materials from being taught in state-funded schools last February.

Representative Jim Olsen, the bill’s author, previously told Campus Reform that the bill was introduced to "make sure our young people don't get a biased, narrow minded view of history."

Campus Reform reached out to RIT, Hannah-Jones, the Diversity and Equity department, and Mr. Jenkins for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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