One week ago on CBS television Nikole Hannah -jones announced her decision to reject UNC’s last-minute offer of tenure and instead to accept the Knight Chair position at Howard University. PlayMaker’s stands proudly with her decision to reject an offer that was made only after a series of protests from staff, faculty and students that once again turned the national spotlight on UNC and the failure to live up to the values of access, equity, diversity, and inclusion as articulated in Carolina Next strategic plan.
The injustice done to this eminently qualified journalist is shameful. A journalist of such high accomplishments, a record of excellent scholarship and an alum of this very university was shamelessly embarrassed and dishonored- PlayMakers acknowledges her artistry and integrity and we continue to hold her in the highest esteem.
In her statement this morning Ms. Hannah-Jones graciously listed some first steps that the University could start to take in an effort to begin much needed healing on our campus. PlayMakers affirms these ideas and would urge the University, The BOT and the Board of Governors to follow them.
As Theater makers today, we are challenging systemic racism in our industry and in our communities. When we see the values, this university has stood for—research and work free from political pressure, diversity and excellence – being ignored and discarded, we cannot not remain silent.