Ibram X. Kendi, founder of AU’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, announced on Thursday morning that he will join the Boston University faculty in July to build the BU Center for Antiracist Research.
Kendi joined AU faculty in August 2017 and presented the idea for AU’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center in September 2017.
He is renowned for his books, “How to Be an Antiracist” and “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” Kendi is also a professor in the School of International Service and the College of Arts and Sciences.
“I am excited to join the historic BU of pioneering Native author Charles Eastman, MLK Jr., and Howard Zinn, the proud Boston of Phillis Wheatley and Maria Stewart and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, a BU and Boston filled with so many great minds and committed spirits,” Kendi wrote in a tweet on Thursday.
The center, however, will remain at AU as a collaboration between CAS and SIS, according to an email sent to CAS and SIS faculty and staff. The University is looking for a new director for the center this fall, the email said.
Kendi leaves the AU faculty at a pivotal time in the United States when racism has become the center of national conversation. The recent killings of Black Americans, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, have renewed demands for police reform and antiracist policies.
AU has had a string of racist incidents occur on its campus in the past several years. In May 2017, students found bananas hanging from nooses after the election of Taylor Dumpson, AU’s first Black female Student Government president. This hate crime sparked collective outrage from the AU community and garnered national attention. In September 2017 on the same night Kendi gave a presentation on the center, confederate flag fliers were found hanging in four AU buildings.
In February, a member of the AU community was recorded on camera saying the N-word.
“Typically when you have antiracist successes, there is going to be a racist reaction,” Kendi told The Blackprint.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.