Black Lives Matter: resources, events, and funds to support

[Published on June 19, 2020. Latest update: July 23, 2020]

On this Juneteenth 2020, the BU Alumni Association offers this list of BU-sponsored resources, events, and research on antiracism, community engagement, and social change. Remember that these are just starting points. We encourage all alumni to take action, individually and collectively, to join BU in working toward a world without racism.


A conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research

Recorded on July 1, 2020

Presented by the Black Alumni Leadership Council and the Boston University Alumni Association, this conversation welcomed Dr. Kendi on his first day at BU. It was also a great opportunity for the alumni community to hear his vision for the new Center for Antiracist Research, which will bring together researchers and practitioners from across the University and the region to engage around issues of racism and racial justice. The session began in a “fireside chat” format, followed by a question-and-answer period.

Funds you can support

UMOJA: BU Black Student Union

UMOJA is committed to supporting Black students in the areas of academics, community service, socialization, and future career goals. By existing and by acting as an outlet for the talents and abilities of Black students, UMOJA also sets out to educate the greater Boston University community on some of the aspects of the Black experience. Click here to give to UMOJA.

Black Women’s Health Study

Black women have higher rates of many illnesses, such as hypertension, breast cancer at young ages, diabetes, stroke, and lupus. There needs to be a better understanding of the causes of these illnesses and determinants of good health. Since 1995, the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) has recognized that need and has continued working to answer these questions. Click here to give to BWHS.

BU ENG National Society of Black Engineers

NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professi​onally, and positively impact the community. Click here to give to NSBE.

Programs at the Howard Thurman Center

If you wish to get involved with the programs listed below, please email the director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, Katherine Kennedy.

Brothers United is a fellowship program for Boston University’s men of color. Weekly gatherings include social events, study nights, and leadership workshops. The group works to strengthen bonds between men of color so that they can, as Thurman would say, “be at home everywhere.” In the same spirit as Brothers United, Girlfriends invites women of color across Boston University to find and create a community with each other. Weekly events may include brunch, arts and crafts, self-care workshops, and thoughtful discussions about what it means to be a girlfriend. To give to either fund, click here, and place a note under the “other” section.

Black Law Students Association 50th Anniversary Scholarship Fund

Income to provide annual scholarship awards to one or more deserving students enrolled in the School of Law, with preference to an incoming student from an underrepresented community who is interested in becoming or is already involved with BLSA. Click here to give to BLSA.

Resources and research

Ibram X. Kendi talks about the current protests and his aspirations for antiracist research at BU

One of the nation’s leading scholars and historians of racism, Ibram X. Kendi, will join Boston University’s faculty on July 1 and launch the BU Center for Antiracist Research. In a Q&A with BU Today, Kendi discussed his outrage at the killing of George Floyd, the new antiracist research center at BU, and the leaders and writers he looks to now.

Sandro Galea, dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at BU SPH, discusses how to break the cycle of systemic racism

Originally published on October 24, 2019, the video discusses the marking of 400 years since a group of 20 Africans were first sold in bondage in Jamestown, Virginia. The Dean’s Symposium used this anniversary to discuss how we can disrupt systemic racism, with forward-looking and solution-driven discussions.

BU researcher notes that police brutality is influenced by residential segregation, not just “a few bad apples”

According to Michael Siegel, a Boston University School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, growing evidence suggests that the issue is not only about individual officers and individual black civilians, something that many cities have tried to address with bias training. Instead, Siegel says, it is about structural racism—in the form of residential segregation—affecting neighborhoods, not individuals. Read Michael Siegel’s full article in the Boston University Law Review here.

Communication professionals discuss how communicators can effect social change

Recorded on June 11, 2020, this panel discussion took a closer look at how communication professionals working in film, television, advertising, public relations, and journalism shape perception and activism. The panelists included Kelley Chunn, principal at Kelley Chunn & Associates; Sam Kauffmann, film professor at BU COM; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter at WGBH; and Jaime Villalva, associate creative director at Droga5. The discussion, which was presented by the Boston University College of Communication and COM’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, was introduced by COM Dean Mariette DiChristina and moderated by Tina Martin, associate professor of the practice for journalism at BU COM.

Director of BU’s African American Studies Program provides a list of six must-read books

Almost overnight, two movements on social media were born, called #BlackoutBestsellerList, an effort to fill bestseller lists with entirely Black voices and authors, and #BlackPublishingPower, an effort to highlight the importance of Black authors to the industry. Louis Chude-Sokei, director of BU’s African American Studies Program, provides a list of books that “aid in the struggle against racism.”

Initiatives at Boston University

Boston University Center for Antiracist Research

Founded and led by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the BU Center for Antiracist Research convenes varied researchers and practitioners to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.

Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground

At the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, students are united in their desire to learn about themselves and one another. The center advances Dr. Thurman’s philosophy of self-exploration and community building through meaningful and creative shared experiences.

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion at Boston University

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion leads BU’s efforts to advance a culture that values and supports diversity, equity, access, and inclusion across our campuses.

African American Studies Program

In 1969 Boston University established the first graduate African American Studies Program in the country, combining university coursework with field assignments in the greater Boston community. It publishes The Black Scholar, ranked as the #1 journal of Black studies in the United States.

We commit to you to continue bringing you more information and opportunities to learn, to engage, and to take action to end systemic racism.