Racial Justice in Cities – IOC Statement

Cities exist to bring people together. As we have learned during these last few months, a city devoid of people is not a city at all. But it is not enough that we inhabit the same space. Everyone has the right to live in and move through our cities, to be safe, secure and welcome wherever they go, and the right to thrive. But systemic racism endures in our country. It is not just pernicious—it is fatal. As an academic research and education initiative that studies mayoral leadership, engages students in local government, hosts critical discussions with urban leaders, and catalyzes research that advances the human condition in cities, we have an obligation to understand and address racism and inequity. In our own work, we have sought to understand how America’s mayors perceive racism and discrimination in their communities and the nation, and host public discussions with inspiring Black leaders from across Boston so that more can benefit from their perspective and vision. We have and will continue to support faculty researchers who have made racism and its traumatic consequences their primary focus. However, these actions and investments are not enough. We want to and we will do more. To those hurting, please know that we see you. We mourn with you. We remain committed to using whatever resources and tools we have to help.

-The Boston University Initiative on Cities Team