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(Chapel Hill, N.C. — Oct. 16, 2017) — The General Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill honored two journalists and a nonprofit entrepreneur with Distinguished Young Alumni Awards.


The recipients of the 2017 awards are: Brooke Baldwin, of New York, an anchor for CNN; Nicholas Black of Mount Pleasant, S.C., founder of entrepreneurial nonprofits; and Nikole Hannah-Jones, of Brooklyn, N.Y., a writer for The New York Times Magazine.


“The remarkable accomplishments of many of Carolina’s younger alumni such as Brooke, Nick and Nikole are truly inspiring,” said GAA President Douglas Dibbert.


The awards were presented by the GAA Board of Directors at its fall board meeting. The GAA has given the awards since 1989, recognizing alumni age 40 or younger at the time of their selection for bringing credit to the University through their achievements.


Baldwin, who graduated from UNC in 2001 with a degree in journalism and mass communication, is the midafternoon host of “CNN Newsroom,” among other duties for the network.


Baldwin, who was the keynote speaker at UNC’s spring Commencement this year, has covered top stories of the day, such as the Sandy Hook massacre, the bombing at the Boston Marathon, a terrorist attack in France, the wars in the Middle East and the 2016 presidential campaign.


Twice she has been part of a Peabody Award-winning team at CNN — once for coverage of the 2008 presidential election and another time for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She won two Emmys as part of a news team covering breaking news. In 2012, the New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards bestowed on her its Silver World Medal for Best Investigative Report for her first hour-long documentary, “To Catch a Killer.”


Black, who graduated from UNC in 2013 with an MBA, is co-founder of Stop Soldier Suicide (SSS), a nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide among soldiers leaving the military and ensuring that veterans get other kinds of help.


Black served in the Army in Afghanistan as a Ranger-qualified captain, platoon leader and battalion fire-support officer for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. While he completed his service with medals for valor and effectiveness, he saw that others survived the battlefield only to bring home psychological trauma and issues with substance abuse, some so severe that they killed themselves. SSS has more than 700 clients receiving case-management services around the country and connects by phone and email to thousands more.


Black also is CEO and co-founder of GoodUnited, a venture-backed startup that uses automated email-personalization technology to bring donors and nonprofits together. The service uses the technology to suggest what donors might want to support next based on their previous philanthropic activities.


Hannah-Jones, who graduated from UNC in 2003 with a master’s degree in mass communication, has focused on racial and socioeconomic segregation in education, housing and other areas of society. She won the National Magazine Award for her 2016 article in the Times magazine, “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City,” detailing how she and her husband picked between schools that were predominantly black and Latino or predominantly white and what either might mean for the quality of education their daughter would get.


Hannah-Jones — previously a reporter for The News & Observer in Raleigh, The Oregonian in Portland and ProPublica — also received a Peabody Award in 2016 for an episode of the public radio show ‘This American Life” addressing the achievement gap between black and white students, and she has been named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. She is co-founder of The Ida B. Wells Society, a training and mentorship organization aimed at increasing the number of investigative reporters of color.


For work with such personal and societal impact, the MacArthur Foundation on Oct. 11 named Hannah-Jones a MacArthur Fellow, more commonly known as the “genius grants.”

The General Alumni Association is a self-governed, nonprofit association serving alumni and friends of UNC since 1843.


For photographs of the recipients, please visit: and enter the password: GAA .




GAA Distinguished Young Alumni Award website:


About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.


GAA contact: Doug Dibbert, GAA president, (919) 962-7050,

University Communications contact: Media Relations, (919) 445-8555,

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