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How Art Pope's money shaped UNC's toxic debate over Nikole Hannah-Jones

July 16, 2021 - Long before journalist Hannah-Jones' tenure fight with the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, the influential conservative policy network built and funded by millionaire businessman and GOP power broker Art Pope had turned its attention to her reporting on racism with attacks and distortions reminiscent of its dishonest treatment of climate science. Pope denied direct involvement in the tenure controversy, but his organizations' messaging carries weight in a UNC system where he's a major donor and serves on the powerful Board of Governors thanks to the Republican legislature he helped elect.

VOICES: On UNC's troubled racial past and present

July 7, 2021 - Geeta N. Kapur, a North Carolina civil rights attorney and UNC-Chapel Hill alumna who has a book coming out in August about the school's fraught racial history, says it should come as no surprise that journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones — a Black woman bold enough to speak truth to power — was initially denied tenure by the school and then granted it only begrudgingly. Tenure would have given her a degree of academic freedom to reveal other truths that some don't want to hear.

Climate watchdog files FCC complaint over public radio station's Duke Energy promos

February 14, 2020 - WUNC, a National Public Radio member station serving North Carolina's Research Triangle region, regularly airs promotional spots underwritten by Duke Energy. NC WARN has filed a complaint about them, saying they cross the line into ads, which are banned from noncommercial radio. The University of Arkansas recently settled a similar complaint against two stations it operates.

North Carolina courts grapple with slavery's legacy

December 5, 2019 - As the N.C. Supreme Court decides whether to move a prominent portrait of a slave-owning justice, lower courts are hearing lawsuits involving Confederate monuments. One judge recently signed a controversial settlement order in which UNC agreed to give a pro-Confederate group $2.5 million to care for a statue toppled by anti-racist protesters.

UNC student behind 9/11 course controversy connected to Art Pope think tank that aims to slash non-Western classes

September 8, 2015 - An incoming University of North Carolina freshman made headlines for claiming that the school's "Literature of 9/11" course — which he has not taken — sympathizes with terrorists. It turns out the student has connections to a think thank founded and funded by conservative mega-donor Art Pope that has targeted UNC classes emphasizing non-Western and non-white perspectives.