The Diversity Lecture is held every other year. The next Diversity Lecture will be 2024, stay tuned for more details.
2022 Featured Speaker
Nikole Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. She has spent her career investigating racial inequality and injustice, and her reporting has earned her the MacArthur Fellowship (known as the Genius grant), a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards and the National Magazine Award three times. Hannah-Jones also earned the John Chancellor Award for Distinguished Journalism and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. In 2020 she was inducted into the Society of American Historians, and in 2021 she was named a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She also serves as the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University, where she is founding the Center for Journalism and Democracy.
In 2016, Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which seeks to increase the number of reporters and editors of color. She holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina and earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and African-American Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
Hannah-Jones presents a powerful keynote on history, race and democracy that speaks directly to our current moment. Drawing on ideas from The 1619 Project, she reframes our understanding of American history, highlights the contributions of Black Americans and illuminates key moments of oppression, struggle and resistance. Hannah-Jones explores the legacy of slavery in our cultural, political and legal institutions, and the way it continues to shape contemporary American life. This is a profoundly revealing vision of our country’s past and present.
The Olivia J. Hooker Distinguished Diversity Lecture Series
Launched in 2019, the lecture series is named after an Ohio State alumna, Olivia J. Hooker, whom the world came to know through her extraordinary testimony about the Tulsa Race Massacre. She also was the first Black woman to actively serve in the US Coast Guard. This lecture series was created in order to celebrate diverse individuals whose work and lives advance the call to justice. Ta-Nehisi Coates appeared before a crowd of nearly 1,500 at The Ohio State University’s Mershon Auditorium Feb. 13, 2019, to deliver the inaugural Olivia J. Hooker Distinguished Diversity Lecture.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is an award-winning author and journalist. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. His first novel, The Water Dancer, was released in September 2019. He was a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship that same year. Coates also enjoyed a successful run writing Marvel’s Black Panther (2016-2021) and Captain America (2018-2021) comics series.
How her Buckeye years shaped the life of a hero
In 2018, on the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the world came to know the extraordinary testimony of Olivia J. Hooker, the last surviving witness of the incident and the first Black woman to actively serve in the US Coast Guard. She was a Buckeye, we learned, a 1937 College of Education graduate. And she was a spritely 103 before many of us knew her.