Pulitzer Center Update March 3, 2023

'1619': 'We cannot do the hard work alone'

Artwork by Adam Pendleton in The 1619 Project, page 15. 2019.

The Pulitzer Center is proud to partner with The New York Times Magazine on The 1619 Project to...

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The 1619 Project: The Work That Remains

“We are gearing up for the United States at 250 years in 2026,” Martha S. Jones, a historian and contributor to The 1619 Project, reminded attendees at the Pulitzer Center’s 1619 Education Conference on February 19. The 1619 Project invites readers and viewers to ask new questions about the country’s founding and the lasting impact of slavery on the systems, institutions, and communities that exist today. What happens when we put Black people and their stories at the center of the national narrative?

On February 18-19, over 700 educators joined Pulitzer Center staff, The 1619 Project contributors, and members of The 1619 Project Education Network to explore teaching history, the relationship between history and journalism, and how educators and the public can respond to attacks on African American history and its place in schools.

Two recent Pulitzer Center-supported investigations on anti-Black racism in the U.S. South also make this connection between history and journalism, between past and present.

For The Charlotte Post, grantee Herbert L. White explores the role and history of labor unions, organizing, and Black labor advocacy in the project Wage: Black Labor Advocacy in the South. White reports on labor advocates working to unionize in the Carolinas and reflects on the legacy of Black labor exploitation dating back to slavery and Jim Crow. “Workers in the South face unique challenges tied to the legacy of racism that require a unique solution,” said Eric Winston, a restaurant cook and union member from Durham, North Carolina.

In “Broken by Design,” a special report for The Jackson Advocate, grantee Hadas Thier investigates how systemic failures and neglect have left residents of Jackson, the majority-Black capital of Mississippi, without safe water for years. The reporting emphasizes how this is not only an infrastructure problem, but also a racial justice problem: “Whether in New Orleans in 2005, Flint in 2014, or Jackson today, Black Americans are disproportionately affected by these system failures.”

As we look backward to move forward, we are now accepting applications from teams of educators in K-12, carceral, and college and university settings to join the third cohort of the 1619 Education Network in 2023. 

“We need to take advantage of this moment to teach, to teach, to teach,” said Jones.



Brazilian NGO Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) and the French association Notre Affaire À Tous have filed a legal claim before a Paris court against BNP Paribas for providing financial services to Marfrig, one of the world’s largest beef producers. The case cites reporting from the RIN project Trespassers: Meet the Giant Food Companies Driving Record Invasion of Indigenous Lands in the Amazon by Elisângela Mendonça.

The project revealed that Marfrig has sourced cattle from ranchers who illegally raised the animals inside Indigenous territories. These territories include Apyterewa in Pará state—one of Brazil’s most deforested Indigenous lands—and Manoki Indigenous territory in the state of Mato Grosso.


This message first appeared in the March 3, 2023, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.

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