Lamar Richards, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president, threw his support behind journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones by calling for the school's board of trustees to vote on granting her tenure, UNC's student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, reported Tuesday night.
In a letter to the board, of which he is a member, Richards said he is making "this formal petition for a special called meeting for the sake of our university's future, not as the sole corrective measure for inclusion efforts on campus, but as the first step to ignite this critical phase of bolstering inclusion for Carolina."
Richards made a similar argument in a Twitter thread on Wednesday. Hannah-Jones, who like Richards is Black, was recruited by UNC's journalism school, but the board of trustees put off a tenure vote for unspecified reasons (critics speculate it as to do with her involvement with The New York Times' 1619 Project), and Hannah-Jones now says she won't come on board without the protection. Richards argues it should spark a "long, arduous process to rectify wrongs and move forward for the good of campus." That includes reviewing "the entire tenure and hiring process" and getting different departments, groups, and centers on campus to come "to the table when it comes time to review diversity [and] inclusion efforts," he wrote. Read more at The Daily Tar Heel.