55th Annual Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture Will Feature Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter

By John O’Keefe ’25

This upcoming April, the 55th annual Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of “The 1619 Project” and staff writer at the New York Times Magazine. The speaker is nominated annually by a committee of Holy Cross students. Throughout Hannah-Jones’ career, she has investigated and written on racial inequalities and injustices within the American narrative, from which her published works have become instant #1 New York Times bestsellers.  Now, “The 1619 Project” has been adapted as a six-part docu-series on Hulu, recently released on Jan. 26. 

Within “The 1619 project,” Hannah-Jones illustrates “how very little of American life today has been left untouched by the legacy of slavery and the racial injustices that developed to justify it.” Through this unique lens, Hannah Jones displays a powerful examination of the institution of racial divide within the United States and its long-lasting impact still present in today’s age. Ultimately, she highlights the contradicting foundational ideals of freedom and equality in the U.S. against the institution of slavery, and further offers a unique analysis of slavery’s role in The United State’s fight for independence in the American Revolution.

Nikole Hannah-Jones’ investigation and reporting has received renowned recognition. She has earned the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the Genius grant, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, and the National Magazine Award three times. Hannah-Jones’ public service successes incorporate both “The 1619 Project,” and her role as an educator. She serves as the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University, where she founded the Center for Journalism & Democracy. She is also the co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which looks to increase the number of investigative reporters and editors of color. In 2022 she also opened the 1619 Freedom School in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, which is a free after-school literacy program. 

The Hanify-Howland memorial lecture at Holy Cross strives to  “recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in the realm of public service” and is named for the Hon. Edward F. Hanify, class of 1904, and Weston Howland, who endowed the lecture in Judge Hanify’s memory. Previously recognized individuals in this lecture series include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, associate justice of the United States Clarence Thomas ’71, investigative journalist Bob Woodward, best-selling author Steven D. Levitt, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 12, in the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom of Holy Cross. Hannah-Jones will also conduct a seminar on campus prior to the lecture, which will allow students to directly ask questions one-on-one.

Photo by Karstan Moran / Redux

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