A Day of Collective Engagement: Racism and Antiracism, Our Realities and Our Roles

We are in the midst of one of the most significant human rights moments of our lifetimes. It is not a time to stand on the sidelines. As a university dedicated to knowledge and truth, we feel it is the responsibility of our entire community to learn, think, and act in pursuit of social justice. In that spirit, Boston University invites you to join us online on Wednesday, June 24, for a day of collective learning and reflection on race, racism, and their impact on our society and communities. Activities begin at 8:30 am and continue throughout the day—see the listing below. Access to the sessions will be available on this page on June 24.

Many of the sessions are offered using Zoom technology. To download the Zoom Client for Meetings, go to the Zoom Download Center. The session videos will be coming soon.

Schedule for Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Closed captioning is available at all sessions.

8:30-8:55 am: Opening Remarks

Robert A. Brown, President
Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

9:00-10:15 am: Opening Plenary: A Conversation on the History of Racism

An opening plenary discussion among four scholars whose expertise, disciplinary perspectives, and insights will help unpack the complex and pernicious history of racism and how and where it manifests in contemporary society. Closed captions will be available.

  • Ibram X. Kendi (Moderator), Professor of History (as of July 1, 2020), Founder, BU Center for Antiracist Research
  • Paula Austin, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies
  • Louis Chude-Sokei, Professor of English, George and Joyce Wein Chair in African American Studies, Director of the African American Studies Program
  • Saida Grundy, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies

Please submit your questions and comments in advance. You may also submit questions in real-time.

2:15-3:00 pm: A Conversation with President Brown and Provost Morrison

In response to today’s explorations and conversations, the President and Provost invite you to share your questions, ideas, and aspirations.

Please submit your questions and comments in advance. You may also submit questions in real-time.

3:15-4:30: Join the Conversation: Moderated Debrief Sessions

Share your thoughts, ideas, and reflections on the day and the times and join students, staff, and faculty in one of 12 moderated discussion groups. Each group will be framed by the following questions: (1) What did you hear today that most challenged you? Why? (2) What did you learn today about antiracist practices that you can adopt/employ? (3) What opportunities do you see (for BU, your communities, yourself)? Among our goals are to provide leaders with a clearer sense of constituents’ ideas, concerns, and hopes for the future. Sessions will be hosted by a broad range of Boston University staff, faculty, and administrators. While sessions won’t be recorded, we will take high-level notes to ensure we capture your ideas, concerns, and hopes for the future. Debrief conversations are open to current BU community only, Kerberos authentication required. Closed captions will be available.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that each of these rooms has a 300-person capacity. If you cannot enter a room, please try another room. And look for future programming in schools/colleges/units.


Alana Anderson, Director of Programs, BU Diversity & Inclusion
Karen Antman, Dean, School of Medicine; Provost of the Medical Campus
Kenn Elmore, Associate Provost and Dean of Students
Raul Fernandez, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
Carmine Granucci, Assistant Director, Integration, Information Services & Technology; Chair, BU Allies & Advocates Faculty/Staff Community Network
Eron Hacksaw, Assistant Director for Government and Public Interest Careers, Law
Angelique Harris, Director of Faculty Development and Diversity, Department of Medicine; Director of Faculty Development, BUMC
Francine Montemurro, Boston University Ombuds
Tracy Schroeder, VP for Information Services & Technology
Andy Soares White, Vice President Finance Operation
Robert Volk, Associate Professor, School of Law
Kathy Zeiler, Nancy Barton Scholar and Professor of Law, School of Law

Boston University strives to be accessible, inclusive and diverse in our facilities, programming and academic offerings. Your experience in this event is important to us. If you have a disability (including but not limited to learning or attention, mental health, concussion, vision, mobility, hearing, physical or other health related), require communication access services for the deaf or hard of hearing, or believe that you require a reasonable accommodation for another reason please contact the Disability & Access Services to discuss your needs.

Thank You

This day is the result of a massive, collective endeavor undertaken by staff, faculty, and administrators. In addition to the moderators and speakers above, we’d also like to publicly thank the many individuals and units who worked behind the scenes to make this day possible. They include:

Lunchtime Roundtable Moderators: Tiffany Enos, Mariette DiChristina-Gerosa, Deepti Nijhawan, Natalie McKnight, Laura Jimenez, Alana Anderson, Gerry Muir, Sarah Hokanson, Karen Coleman, Paul Riel, Stephen Ellis, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

End-of-Day Debrief Moderators: Andy Soares White, Karen Antman, Kathy Zeiler, Francine Montemurro, Carmine Granucci, Raul Fernandez, Robert Volk, Eron Hackshaw, Angelique Harris, Kenn Elmore, Alana Anderson, Tracy Schroeder.

Note Takers: Laura Devine, Lindsey Decker, Daniel Kleinman, Rachelle Walker, Naomi Mann, Danielle Pelfrey, Laura Wipf, Tricia Sheehan, Annelle Castillo, Courtney Hudson, Evan Kuras, Maureen O’Rourke

Q&A Curators: Teddy Maynard-Hickman, Anne Donohue, Carmine Granucci, Joseph LiPuma, Laura Johnson, Eric Lopez, Naomi Man, Ashley Sampson, MIchael Zank, Katy Collins, Karen Warkentin, Lillian Bicchieri, Susan Richardson, Nick Horan, Chenille Hogan, Christine Wynne, David Chard.

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