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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."
  • The School of Medicine's Racism in Medicine Vertical Integration Group's final report's mission "was twofold – to document the history of racism within the institution of medicine and its impact on trainees, physicians and patients, and to partner with the Medical Education Office (MEO) in the creation of a longitudinal curriculum to eliminate racism in medical education and medical practice."
  • In the School of Medicine, "Broader changes to the curriculum include a focus on more inclusive pedagogy across the curriculum. Faculty who teach in the first two years of the curriculum and students created an Educators Guide based on their experiences. Faculty now attempt to avoid using race when unnecessary in areas such as clinical vignettes and exam questions."
  • The School of Medicine's Vertical Integration Group's "recommendations fall into the following domains of guiding principles: (1) challenging the persistence of biological/genetic notions of race, (2) embedding structural practices in medical education to dismantle racism in medicine, and (3) promoting institutional climate change. Initial steps to implement these recommendations are also described." The School of Medicine "is now in the implementation phase of the findings."
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".
  • A trustee and alumnus endowed a $3 million professorship on "anti-racism" for the Law School.
  • 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 School of Law and the Center for Antiracist Research launched Antiracist Scholars for Progress, Innovation & Racial Equity (ASPIRE), a program "which will provide a full-tuition scholarship for all three years of law school as well as trainings, annual retreats, and work experiences that will give students tools to challenge policies and practices that maintain racial inequities." The university announced, "In addition to the tuition benefit, students admitted to the ASPIRE program will partner with a faculty mentor, attend antiracist workshops, and work in a paid, one-semester internship with the Center for Antiracist Research."
  • The School of Law launched the Antiracist Scholars for Progress, Innovation, and Racial Equity scholarship. The school said, "ASPIRE provides a full tuition scholarship for all three years to a select number of students who have demonstrated a commitment to antiracism, social justice, and racial equity. Qualified applicants will have relevant lived or direct experience confronting racism. They may desire to work in the public interest, governmental, or private sectors. They need not have training in antiracism or be familiar with particular academic or intellectual jargon, so long as their commitment to antiracism is clear."
  • 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."
  • The BU School of Medicine’s Medical Education Committee (MEC) established the a Racism in Medicine Vertical Integration Group (otherwise known as VIG) to "identify evidence of racism in the curriculum and in the campus climate."
Resources
  • Boston University's Law School dean teaches and specializes in Critical Race Theory.
  • 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."
Symbolic Actions
Last updated August 28th, 2022
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