Boston University Launches Investigation Into Ibram X. Kendi’s Anti-Racist Research Center For Grant Mismanagement

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Boston University is conducting an inquiry into its Center for Antiracist Research due to complaints it received about the center’s grant management and culture.

Ibram X. Kendi serves as the center’s director. He is one of the leading proponents of critical race theory in the United States.

The news comes after the center began laying off about half of its 45 employees. Founded in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, the center’s mission statement says it aims to “convene varied researchers and practitioners to foster exhaustive racial data collection, research-based policy innovation, solutions-focused narrative change initiatives, and practical advocacy campaigns.” 

Since its founding, the center has been the subject of controversy and complaints.

Saida Grundy, who worked at the center in 2020 and 2021, sent an email message to then-provost Jean Morrison in December 2021 saying there was dysfunction at the center and a lack of commitment to using grants to produce any research of value, according to Fox News.

Additionally, Professor Philipe Copeland said the center was mismanaged.

“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,” Spencer Piston, faculty lead of the center’s policy office, said, according to Fox News, referring to Kendi. 

Priston also told The Daily Free Press:  “The Center has very, very much failed to deliver on its promise. It’s been a colossal waste of millions of dollars.”

B.U. issued a statement in response to the controversy surrounding the center.

Here is what it said:


We received complaints after the Center for Antiracist Research recently laid off a number of employees. Those complaints focused on the center’s culture and its grant management practices. We previously initiated an examination of those grant management practices and that will continue. Based on additional information provided to us, we are expanding our inquiry to include the Center’s management culture and the faculty and staff’s experience with it. We recognize the importance of Dr. Kendi’s work and the significant impact it has had on antiracist thinking and policy. Boston University and Dr. Kendi believe strongly in the Center’s mission, and while he takes strong exception to the allegations made in recent complaints and media reports, we look forward to working with him as we conduct our assessment.


Kendi could not be reached for comment on Thursday or Friday.


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