Posted on September 18, 2023

Ibram X. Kendi’s Antiracism Center Is Laying Off Staff

J.D. Capelouto, Semafor, September 14, 2023

As many as 15 to 20 staff members are being laid off at the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, which is led by prominent activist and scholar Ibram X. Kendi, according to a person familiar with the situation.


In a statement, BU spokesman Colin Riley confirmed the layoffs. He said the center is “evolving to a fellowship model” and would offer details on “this new direction” soon.

Kendi will remain the research center’s director. {snip}


BU announced that Kendi was joining the faculty and launching the center in June 2020, just as protests began sweeping the nation following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The BU center was pitched as a novel and progressive way for the university to contribute to ongoing conversations around race in America. It has researched antiracist policies, tracked data related to racial disparities in America, and analyzed racial justice advocacy efforts. Its website describes the center as a place where “academic research meets antiracist action.”

The center also collaborated with The Boston Globe’s opinion section to launch The Emancipator, a digital racial justice-focused publication, in 2021. The site has published independently of the Globe since the spring. It will continue to publish and was not affected by the layoffs, Riley said.