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A message from Dean Gary Bowen on July 9, 2021

Dear UNC School of Social Work Community,

Earlier this week, we learned that Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient whose development of the 1619 Project inspired all of us who seek racial justice, has decided not to join the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty.

On behalf of our faculty at UNC School of Social Work, I want to share our deep disappointment that our campus community will not have the benefit of her knowledge and expertise. As observers of the process that led to her decision, however, we have all received a real-world lesson in the critical need to work together and stand firm in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus, in our state, and in our broader society.

We recognize the deep and serious impact of this matter and the consequences it will have for our University and its history.  As a School of Social Work community, we strive to be an institution where all are welcome, each is valued, and every aspect of UNC-Chapel Hill is a reflection of our best and highest ideals. With others across campus, we hope to work in collaboration and in solidarity to rebuild our University and its reputation.

On a personal note, I also want to thank Dr. Mimi Chapman, Frank A. Daniels Distinguished Professor and associate dean for doctoral education in our School of Social Work, for her tireless work as Chair of the Faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has demonstrated strong leadership and moral courage throughout this process and I appreciate her demonstration of social work’s core values in her campus-wide role.

Gary L. Bowen
Dean & Kenan Distinguished Professor