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The Hilltop


Letter to the Editor

The investigative article “Almost $10,000 Of Miscalculated Funds: What Happened To The Money Raised During The Blackburn Takeover?” by Makenna Underwood and Khiara Davis-Howard is a gross misrepresentation of investigative journalism. The article simply is incorrect and presents incorrect information as fact. Not only were the “sources” unreliable as they had no participation in the finances of the protest but the source that should have been contacted was me or anyone that was proven to have a leadership role. I, Jasmine Joof, was the media head and press contact for the protest and was a leading member of the “legal team” who negotiated with the president of the university for our departure. My contact information was in the header of EVERY SINGLE PRESS RELEASE SENT OUT and yet I was not asked for comment on this article resulting in the misinformation spread throughout. From here I will list out every incorrect fact with the accompanying correct information. The Hilltop, being the oldest Black-student-led school paper, should hold itself to a higher standard given the sensitivity, magnitude and scope of this situation. I expect a full retraction and apology to the protestors within two days, if not I will personally release the accurate information and the lack of professionalism displayed by the Hilltop.

  1. Deja Redding has NEVER attended Howard University as a student or in any other capacity. 

-Deja, a graduate student of George Mason, acted as the protest’s de facto accountant as she is an accountant for the U.S. Department of Defense. 

  1. The funds allegedly miscalculated were used to sustain the protestors and anyone who chose to support no matter the length of their time spent inside or outside. 
  2. The sources cited within the article are irrelevant and poorly vetted with neither having any inside knowledge of the amount of funds used to sustain or the amount left over after. – Nikkaya only purchased breakfast for the protestors from her own funds and was paid back from the donations received. 
  3. The BSA disbanded due to a lack of leadership knowledge, as they had no handling in the inner workings of sustaining Blackburn and negotiating the ending of Blackburn.

Jasmine Joof is a former student of Howard University and media head of the Blackburn Takeover protest.

Editor’s note: Deja Redding’s educational status has since been corrected to reflect that she is a graduate student at George Mason University. The Hilltop erroneously reported that Redding was an alumna of Howard University. 

Copy edited by Jasper Smith 


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