Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Universities Spend $521K on Speeches by 1619 Project Author

In her most lucrative engagement, Hannah-Jones was paid $101,700 for about 24 hours of work at Indiana University...

(Adam Andrzejewski, RealClear Wire) Across the country, universities are hiring journalist and author of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, to speak to students on issues of race and history. Her lucrative speaking fees cost students and taxpayers.

Just 12 universities have paid a combined $521,000 in speaking fees to Hannah-Jones.

The 1619 Project is a New York Times project that “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

Its controversial narrative and the facts it puts forth have been questioned, including the incorrect claim “that the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America,” as disputed in Politico by a Northwestern University history professor and author of two books on slavery.

“Despite my advice, the Times published the incorrect statement about the American Revolution anyway, in Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay,” Leslie M. Harris wrote in Politico.

According to an investigation by the Daily Wire, Hannah-Jones was hired for 33 speaking engagements in 2022. Of those, 12 were at publicly-funded entities, and averaged $43,000 per engagement, often for speeches lasting about an hour.

Assuming all 33 engagements cost the average of $43,000, Hannah-Jones would have made $1.4 million in speaker fees in 2022 alone.

In her most lucrative engagement, Hannah-Jones was paid $101,700 for about 24 hours of work at Indiana University. This included her participation in four classroom discussions, her attendance at a dinner party, and a one-hour speaking engagement, followed by a book signing. Out-of-state students pay $39,000 in tuition and fees to attend Indiana University.

In another lucrative deal, Northern Illinois University paid Hannah-Jones $30,000 to speak on Zoom. In addition to public and private universities, other venues included public libraries and embassies.

Private universities and other private entities can spend their money as they see fit, but taxpayers that fund public universities and public libraries should not be on the hook for $43,000 speeches.

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