1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones was paid $55,000 for University of Wisconsin event
The signed contract stipulated a cash advance deposit of $27,500
1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones was paid $55,000 to speak at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in January.
A contract of the speaking appearance obtained by Fox News Digital shows that Hannah-Jones was paid $55,000 to attend the university's MLK Symposium on Jan. 25, when she gave the keynote speech.
"Hannah-Jones will reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through the lens of her award-winning work investigating racial injustice and the consequences of slavery in American history," the event description reads.
A draft schedule of the event shows that Hannah-Jones was paid to meet with campus media and attend a "private VIP reception" before the MLK Symposium, which lasted from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The contract had Hannah-Jones attending university-sponsored events from 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., including the time spent giving the 45-minute keynote speech and a 30-minute moderated question and answer session.
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The contract, signed by The Lavin Agency and a university official, also stipulated a cash advance deposit of $27,500 for Hannah-Jones. The Lavin Agency represents Hannah-Jones.
A University of Wisconsin-Madison spokesperson told Fox News Digital that funding for the event came from private sources, and was not paid for using public funding.
No recording of Hannah-Jones' speech was allowed, according to the contract.
The 1619 Project, founded by Hannah-Jones, has been criticized for allegedly telling inaccurate parts of history, such as the claim that "one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery."
The essay was later corrected to read, "…one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery."
Hannah-Jones has used the 1619 Project as a platform to charge what one critic calls "exorbitant" speaking fees.
Kenny Xu, author of the book "Inconvenient Minority" and president of Color Us United, previously told Fox News Digital that universities could be using the money used for these speaking fees in much better ways.
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"Maybe instead of paying exorbitant fees and speakers that you’re extending, maybe you can use them to hire better teachers and to merit pay teachers and to teach them that, you know, teach them math and science and actual skills that enable them to actually, you know, be able to graduate from college pretty confident in their career prospects," he said.
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Hannah-Jones responded to a request for comment from Fox News Digital, pointing to Sen. Ted Cruz delivering a speech at UW-Madison in October. The conservative group Young America's Foundation hosted Ted Cruz for an event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in October. That event was not listed on the calendar of events on the university's official website, as Hannah-Jones' speech was. Cruz's speech was originally scheduled to take place on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus but was moved off campus over the school's indoor mask mandate.