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Boston University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
985 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Phone
(617) 353-2000
Email address
admissions@bu.edu
School Information
"Boston University is no small operation. With over 34,000 students from more than 130 countries, over 10,000 faculty and staff, 17 schools and colleges, and more than 300 programs of study, our three campuses are always humming, always in high gear. Get to know the people and teams that keep the University running smoothly." (Source: https://www.bu.edu/about/)
General Information
Boston University offered a professorship to Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, founder of the American University Anti-Racist Research Center, as well as the author of "How to be an Anti-Racist". Following his work at American University, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi launched a new anti-racist research center with the funding of Boston University. The amount of funding given to the center is not yet known. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The Department of Anthropology said, "Almost all of the courses offered in the department give students the tools to think about how power inequities of various kinds become naturalized and instantiated in different biological, social, and cultural contexts. Our courses tackle this issue, providing students with the intellectual tools and pedagogical spaces to understand the systems of racialized violence and injustice... and the ways in which we might work together to dismantle them."
Program and Research Funding
  • Dr. Ibram X. Kendi launched a new anti-racist research center.
  • The university announced the creation of the "Racial Data Lab", a "joint project of the Center for Antiracist Research and the computing and data science department".
  • The university will hire the firm Korn Ferry to review its HR and staff policies to promote "diversity, equity, and inclusion".
  • The university's Center for Antiracist Research believes "that challenging and uprooting racist policy is the path to social change and racial equity. Our research seeks to answer a host of systemic policy challenges with equally expansive solutions, from our Racial Data Lab, a national online database of racial inequality, to our narrative effort to collect videos, photos, and essays from people of color about how COVID-19 has affected their lives and loved ones." As part of its mission, the Center is building research & policy teams composed of "scholars, policy experts, journalists, artists, and advocates who have typically been centrally involved in the process of antiracist change." The Center is also building a research network and affiliates.
  • The Center for Antiracist Research is "facilitating an Antibigotry Convening that aims to define bigotry in structural terms, examine the ways that structural bigotry harms diverse communities, generate an antibigotry policy report, and motivate an antibigotry movement. The project will involve a series of virtual workshops in the Fall of 2021, and will culminate in a virtual symposium in May of 2022. The Antibigotry Convening is funded by the Ford Foundation." The Center explains, "The mission of the Center’s Antibigotry Convening Project is to facilitate collaboration among advocates and scholars to (1) define bigotry in structural and systemic terms, (2) examine, through data and story collection, the ways that bigotry infringes upon the liberties, dignity, and opportunities of harmed communities and individuals; (3) develop a transformative narrative of antibigotry to become a galvanizing concept (like antiracism); (4) prompt an antibigotry movement and an era of broad, intersectional equity, and (5) generate an antibigotry policy report and resolution." As part of the project, there will be "Antibigotry Convening Fellows."
  • The policy office within the Center for Antiracist Research "comprises a racial policy tracker, amicus brief practice, evidence equity project, model legislation unit, continuing legal education offerings, and policy convenings."
Resources
  • Boston University's affiliated Boston Medical Center has released a "Glossary for Culture Transformation," which includes definitions of "anti-racism," "colorism," and other terms.
  • The Department of Anthropology hosted events such as "Migration Matters: Ethnicity, Race, Labor, and Politics Across Borders" and "Addressing Systemic Racism in Health and Medicine." It also suggested that community members read Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist."
  • The School of Theology offered its STH course “Dismantling White Privilege, Power, and Supremacy” reading list, which includes works such as "Becoming an Anti-Racist Church" and Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility."
  • The School of Theology offers resources on "Critical Race Theory" and "Intersectional Resources." Resources include "How White Liberals Perpetuate Relational Violence" and "Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo."
  • The university's Community Service Center explained Anti-Racism as "the practice of actively identifying and opposing racism. The goal of anti-racism is to actively change policies, behaviors, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas and actions." It offered resources such as "What is Racial Equity? Center for Social Inclusion" and Ibram X. Kendi's "How to be an Antiracist," as well as several Instagram infographics.
  • The Center for Antiracist Research held a "What the Science Tells Us: Racial and Health Inequities During the Pandemic" symposium featuring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. At the event, Kendi said, "People are increasingly recognizing that climate change is an existential threat to our existence, that pandemics are an existential threat, but we should also recognize that racism is an existential threat."
  • The Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the BU Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health (CISWH) hosted a virtual event titled "Access and Anti-Racism in Opioid Treatment: What Cities Need Now."
  • Boston University's Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs division hosted “21 Days of Unlearning Racism and Learning Antiracism." The event provides "an opportunity to engage directly in antiracist texts and multimedia each day for 21 days."
  • The Center for Antiracist Research (CAR), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and BU Diversity & Inclusion (BU D&I) have partnered to sponsor the Designing Antiracism Curricula (DAC) Fellowship Program. DAC allows faculty to "design new courses or redesign existing courses that highlight and integrate antiracism frameworks, content, and perspectives."
  • In January 2022, BU launched the Antiracist Tech Initiative, which "gathers scientific evidence for transformational antiracist practices in tech."
  • BU has a "Race, Racism & Anti-Racism Living Language Guide", which is a "curated glossary of DEI related terms."
Symbolic Actions
  • University created a new senior diversity position.
  • In January 2022, BU hired Dr. Yanique Redwood as the executive director for the Center For Antiracist Research.
  • The Women's Guild of Boston University published an article by Senior Diversity Officer Andrea L. Taylor titled "The Meaning of Black History Month" which states in part, "Persistent disparities in economic growth, access to credit, education, food insecurity, inadequate health care, and violence, including police brutality — most recently, the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police — must be addressed."
Last updated April 6th, 2023
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