The center's director, Ibram X. Kendi, a critical race theorist who rose to prominence during the anti-police race riots of 2020, has been accused by staff members of being power hungry and mistreating employees, according to Boston Globe.
Spencer Piston, a faculty leader at the center's policy office, told the outlet: "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 had been chosen by Boston University to run its Antiracist Research Center when it first opened at the height of the nationwide race riots in 2020 following the death of George Floyd. He first captured recognition among academic circles in 2019 following the release of his book "How To Be An Antiracist," which took off 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 the center had laid off 15 to 20 of its employees in a statement to Fox News saying, "The Center is evolving to a fellowship model. Dr. Kendi remains the Director. We can confirm that there were layoffs at the Center."
"The University and Center are committed to working with and supporting affected employees as they look for their next opportunities" the statement read, which was written by the center's vice president, Rachel Lapal Cavallario.
At the time Kendi was hired, former President of Boston University, Robert A. Brown, claimed that the activist's leadership "would create a critical emphasis on research and policy to help eliminate racism in our country."
After BU announced Kendi's hiring, the University received a deluge of donations to support the center, which included $10 million from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and $4.5 million from biotech company Vertex, according to Daily Mail. This makes about $15 million in combined donations from those two parties alone.
Ibram X. Kendi and his "antiracism" work are considered to be highly controversial by many.
The activist has implied that discrimination against white people is necessary in order to tackle prejudice inflicted on black Americans during the eras of slavery and Jim Crow.
Furthermore, Kendi has a history of failed projects.
In May 2022, Netflix pulled the plug on Kendi's woke animated series aimed at preschoolers, "Antiracist Baby," which was based on his controversial children's book of the same name.
The children's book is about a baby who goes to a Black Lives Matter protest and is meant to indoctrinate kids with critical race theory propaganda.
Kendi received backlash after his book was released but he defended his work and maintained that it's important for children to "see racism."
"Well, actually, teaching people to see racism," Kendi said on CBS. "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."
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