Racial Equity Event Series

Across the country, urban universities are embracing new roles and expanding their varied contributions to the well-being of the communities they call home. Research universities are also uniquely positioned to evaluate and understand the challenges confronting residents in their region, and support programs and evidence-based interventions to help improve outcomes and advance equity.

Over the course of the 2016 Fall and 2017 Spring semesters, at the request of Boston University President Dr. Robert Brown, the BU Initiative on Cities hosted a series of conversations to explore Boston University’s role in addressing racial disparities in the Boston region. This series examined the contributions Boston University, as both an urban research institution and a community member, is and could be making to advance racial equity and reduce disparities.

The series began on September 26th, 2016, with a Research on Tap event featuring faculty from across BU who will present their latest research findings and interventions addressing racial gaps.


Understanding Racial Disparities: Criminal Justice and Poverty
Tuesday March 28, 2017 – 11:30am-12:45pm
Boston University Initiative on Cities, 75 Bay State Road

Our first topic-specific discussion on racial equity brought together community and academic experts for a conversation on racial disparities in criminal justice and poverty.  Leaders from Roca, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit dedicated to disrupting the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping young people transform their lives, and CAPIC, a Chelsea-based organization addressing poverty in Massachusetts, joined Sara Bachman, Research Professor of Health Law, Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health, and Interim Director of the Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health and Associate Professor at the Boston University School of Social Work.

Understanding Racial Disparities: Education
Wednesday April 5, 2017 – 12pm-1:30pm
Boston University Initiative on Cities, 75 Bay State Road

How have racial disparities impacted the education system in Boston and the Boston region? Colin Rose, Assistant Superintendent of Opportunity and Achievement Gaps at Boston Public Schools, joined BU School of Education researchers and other partners working to identify and eliminate racial inequity in our schools and classrooms.


Tackling Racial Inequities in Boston: What’s BU Learning?
September 26, 2016 4-6 PM
BU Hillel House, 213 Bay State Road Fourth Floor

What’s BU Learning? brought together faculty from across BU who seek to understand the root causes of inequality in the Boston region and beyond. They shared their latest research findings and remedies related to racial disparities in health, education, development, economic opportunity, housing and criminal justice, and proposed new opportunities for the future. This event was co-hosted by the Boston University Initiative on Cities and the BU Research Office as part of the Research on Tap series. Click here for a recap of What’s BU Learning?

Reducing Disparities and Promoting Well-Being in Boston: The Role of the BU Community
October 26, 2016 4-5:30 PM
Questrom School of Business, 595 Commonwealth Avenue Fourth Floor

Reducing Disparities and Promoting Well-Being in Boston highlighted a broad array of University activities designed to support vulnerable populations, close achievement gaps and promote community well-being. This discussion shed light on some of the many contributions made by and roles played by BU’s faculty, students and staff in the Boston region. Click here for a recap of The Role of the BU Community.

Read about our event in The Daily Free Press, Faculty, Administration Showcase How BU Improves the City

Promoting Resilience and Racial Inclusion: Lessons from the City of Boston
November 7, 2016 4-5:30 PM
Metcalf Trustees Ballroom, 1 Silber Way, Ninth Floor

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has challenged the city and his administration to take on racial inequity as a key economic, social and moral imperative. Senior members of his leadership team will join us at BU to share plans and lessons learned from the City’s own efforts to close racial gaps. Moderated by BU Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, the event will feature: Dr. Atyia Martin, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston, and Dr. Karilyn Crockett, Director of Economic Policy & Research for the City of Boston. Click here for a recap of Lessons from the City of Boston.

Read about our event in BU Today, Racism: What BU and Boston Can Do About It.