Nikole Hannah-Jones.


WATERLOO — An award-winning Waterloo-raised investigative reporter on civil rights and racial injustice issues will be the featured speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Fund Dinner 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Electric Park Ballroom.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a 1994 graduate of West High School, is an investigative reporter for The New York Times Magazine. She has been nationally recognized for her stories on racial segregation and resegregation in schools and housing. She has won numerous awards, including George Polk and Peabody awards, and is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow, one of only 24 chosen worldwide, for “reshaping national conversations around education reform.”

She was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2015.

In a biography on her website, Hannah-Jones said she became hooked on journalism when she joined her high school newspaper at West High and began writing about students like her, who were bused across town as part of a voluntary school desegregation program. In 2017, she won a National Magazine Award for her story on choosing a school for her daughter in a segregated city.

Prior to joining The New York Times, Hannah-Jones worked as an investigative reporter at ProPublica in New York City, where she spent three years chronicling the way official policy created and maintains segregation in housing and schools.

She is currently writing a book on school segregation titled “The Problem We All Live With,” to be published on the One World imprint of Penguin/Random House.

The MLK banquet begins with a social hour at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and $25 for ages 18 and younger. RSVP’s are requested by Wednesday. More information may be obtained by contacting LaTanya Graves at 214-3434.

The event is hosted by Social Action Inc.


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