The Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s 1619 Project will also be featured in a
seven-week series on racial equity
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and Iowa-native Nikole Hannah-Jones will deliver the spring Sussman Lecture on April 8, as part of a community-wide dialogue about systemic oppression and racial equity. The Sussman Lecture is free and open to the public. Registration will open in February.
Hannah-Jones grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, and found her passion for journalism while working for her high school newspaper. She covers civil rights and racial injustice as an investigative reporter for The New York Times Magazine and is creator of the 1619 Project, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2020. She is a co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit that provides training and mentorship for journalists of color pursuing careers in investigative reporting.
Hannah-Jones’ appearance will follow a seven-series educational experience, Then. Now. When., offered by the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. The Then. Now. When. experience, presented by Nationwide, will use the 1619 Project along with local and national experts to help leaders gain an understanding of how beliefs and systems of racial oppression continue to impact the Greater Des Moines community today as well as what can be done to create a different future. During her virtual visit to Des Moines, Hannah-Jones will also speak with area youth.
Established by Richard Sussman, AS’51, in memory of his late wife, Lila, the Sussman Lecture Series takes place twice a year and invites notable public figures to discuss timely topics. Past Sussman speakers include Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry, and Celine Cousteau, a French explorer, education ambassador and documentary filmmaker.