MET Faculty Among BU’s Inaugural Fellows to Develop Antiracist Curricula

Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research has a mission to build an antiracist society that ensures racial equity and social justice. Now, a pair of MET faculty will take significant steps in advancing that mission by redesigning courses in ways that thoughtfully foreground antiracist practices in curricula and pedagogical strategies.

Danielle Rousseau, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Corrine DaCosta, who teaches Culture and Cuisine of the African Diaspora (MET ML 629) as part of the gastronomy program, were each selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of 13 Designing Antiracism Curricula (DAC) fellows. The BU DAC Fellowship Program—sponsored by the Center for Antiracist Research (CAR), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and BU Diversity & Inclusion (BU D&I)—empowers faculty to revise courses and coursework to incorporate antiracism principles, to detangle education from historic injustices. It is the latest development in the University’s broader commitment to championing antiracism in higher education and the world beyond.

The harms posed by the policies that undergird systemic racism are persistent and expansive, and include recent backlashes against teaching the legacy of colonialism, imperialism, segregation, and exploitation. By participating in the DAC program, Rousseau and DaCosta will seek to redress this legacy of injustice by collaborating with other faculty across disciplines and campuses to explore antiracism frameworks, discuss content for courses, and build a supportive teaching and learning community.

Both educators are enthusiastic about the opportunity to better support students by presenting material that highlights antiracism frameworks and content.

“Coming from a family of equity-focused educators who broke color barriers, it feels fitting that a higher education career focusing on antiracism would make my ancestors proud,” says DaCosta. “With a background in vocational education, combining the knowledge of the body and mind with a lens of community and cooperation is at the forefront of my pedagogy.”

DaCosta is eager to explore how antiracist techniques can be incorporated into the academic field and industry of gastronomy. “I am grateful for the chance to gain more experience as an educator, be in the community, and collaborate with other educators who pride themselves on the advancement of all people,” she says.

Rousseau echoes the enthusiasm of her colleague.

“My interest in antiracist pedagogy is rooted in my passion for educational approaches that are universally inclusive and trauma informed,” says Rousseau, who teaches Trauma and Crisis Intervention (MET CJ 720). “I seek to design a course that is holistic, strength-based, and rooted in diverse pedagogical approaches. This course will serve undergraduate and graduate students exploring the work of antiracism as it exists at the intersection of justice—criminal justice, social justice, food justice, housing justice, restorative justice, and healing justice.”

As Rousseau explains, the work done under the DAC Fellowship stands to transform students across classrooms. “The antiracist focus of this course will center topics relevant to applied social science work and the course will provide a foundation in antiracism for the programs of Metropolitan College’s Department of Applied Social Sciences,” she says.

For more on Boston University’s commitment to championing antiracism in education, visit the Designing Antiracism Curricula Fellowship website.