Scandal Erupts At Boston University's Antiracist Research Center, Director Ibram X. Kendi Under FIRE

Written By BlabberBuzz | Monday, 18 September 2023 12:00
Views 2.8K

The Antiracist Research Center at Boston University has reportedly dismissed up to 20 staff members in the wake of allegations of poor management and exploitation.

The accusations were leveled by both current and former employees, as reported by the Boston Globe.

The center's director, Ibram X. Kendi, a critical race theorist who gained prominence during the anti-police race riots in 2020, has been accused by staff members of being power-hungry and mistreating employees.

Spencer Piston, a faculty leader at the center's policy office, told the Boston Globe, "There are a number of ways it got to this point, it started very early on when the university decided to create a center that rested in the hands of one human being, an individual given millions of dollars and so much authority."

Kendi was selected by Boston University to lead its Antiracist Research Center, which was established during the nationwide race riots in 2020 following the death of George Floyd. Kendi first gained recognition in academic circles in 2019 with the release of his book "How To Be An Antiracist," which gained traction among progressive activists in 2020.

Saida Grundy, the former assistant director of narrative at the center, accused Kendi of exploitation, mismanagement, and forcing employees to work unreasonable hours. "It became very clear after I started that this was exploitative and other faculty experienced the same and worse," she told the publication.


Boston University confirmed to Fox News that the center had laid off 15 to 20 of its employees, stating, "The Center is evolving to a fellowship model. Dr. Kendi remains the Director. We can confirm that there were layoffs at the Center."

Rachel Lapal Cavallario, the center's vice president, wrote in a statement, "The University and Center are committed to working with and supporting affected employees as they look for their next opportunities."


When Kendi was hired, the then-President of Boston University, Robert A. Brown, stated that Kendi's leadership "would create a critical emphasis on research and policy to help eliminate racism in our country."

Following Kendi's appointment, the University received a flood of donations to support the center, including $10 million from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and $4.5 million from biotech company Vertex, according to the Daily Mail. This amounts to approximately $15 million in combined donations from these two sources alone.


Kendi's work on "antiracism" is considered highly controversial by many. The activist has suggested that discrimination against white people is necessary to address the prejudice inflicted on black Americans during the eras of slavery and Jim Crow.

Kendi also has a history of failed projects. In May 2022, Netflix canceled Kendi's animated series for preschoolers, "Antiracist Baby," which was based on his controversial children's book of the same name. The book, which tells the story of a baby attending a Black Lives Matter protest, has been criticized for propagating critical race theory.

Despite the backlash following the release of his book, Kendi defended his work, arguing that it's crucial for children to "see racism." On CBS, Kendi stated, "Well, actually, teaching people to see racism. There's a difference. Race is a mirage. Racism is real. And it’s – you know who’s the most likely to be harmed by racism? Our children. You know who are least likely to engage about it? Our children. That's what's really prevailing me to do this work."