Nikole Hannah-Jones

There isn’t a beat you can cover-education, housing-where race is not a factor.

New York Times Magazine Staff Writer
2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow | Winner of the National Magazine Award


NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES was named a 2017 MacArthur Fellow (one of only 24 people, globally) for her writing on modern day civil rights for The New York Times Magazine. Her widely read articles on segregated housing and schools, as well as her deeply personal reports on the black experience in America, expose how racial inequality is maintained through official policy. They also offer a compelling case for greater equity.


Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones covers racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine, and has spent years chronicling the way official policy has created—and maintains—racial segregation in housing and schools. She was named a 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow for “reshaping national conversations around education reform.” But this is simply the latest honor in a growing list: she’s won a George Polk Award, a Peabody, and a National Magazine Award. She has written extensively on the history of racism and inequality, school resegregation and the disarray of hundreds of desegregation orders, and the decades-long failure of the federal government to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act. She is currently writing a book on school segregation called The Problem We All Live With, to be published on the One World imprint of Penguin/Random House.

“Hannah-Jones supplements her work with helpful data, legal research and shoe-leather reporting, reminding us of the lingering legacy of racial discrimination on schoolchildren,” writes the EWA Review Board. She has also written one of the most widely read analyses of the racial implications of the controversial Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action Supreme Court case.

She also won the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism for her New York Times Magazine cover story “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City.” In 2016 she was awarded a George Polk Award for radio reporting for her This American Life story “The Problem We All Live With,” and her piece “Worlds Apart” in The New York Times Magazine won the 2017 National Magazine Award for “journalism that illuminates issues of national importance.” She was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, and was also named to The Root 100. Her reporting has won Deadline Club Awards, Online Journalism Awards, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service, the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, the Emerson College President’s Award for Civic Leadership, and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.


“Nikole has done powerful work exploring the fight for all Americans, especially people of color, to achieve the ‘American Dream.’ Educational and economic opportunities are part of that dream. She used her investigative reporting skills to shine light where it was needed most, and to bring the issues of race and impropriety to the forefront. She is most worthy of NABJ’s highest honor.”

— National Association of Black Journalists President Bob Butler


Hannah-Jones holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina and earned her BA in History and African-American studies from the University of Notre Dame. For the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, she investigated social changes under Raul Castro and the impact of universal healthcare on Cuba’s educational system. She was also selected by the University of Pennsylvania to report on the impact of the Watts Riots for a study marking the 40th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report, 2007. Along with The New York Times, her reporting has been featured in ProPublicaThe Atlantic MagazineHuffington PostEssence MagazineThe Week MagazineGristPoliticoMagazine, and on Face the NationThis American Life, NPR, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Democracy Now, and radio stations across the country.