Former staffers allege financial and administrative mismanagement at Ibram X. Kendi’s antiracism center, per recent reports.

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The Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, established by Ibram X. Kendi, has faced significant financial and administrative turmoil since its inception, as per recent media coverage.

Former staffers, including Yanique Redwood, the center’s former executive director, expressed frustration over being assigned tasks they were neither hired nor qualified to perform. Redwood highlighted the overwhelming workload and unfulfilled promises made to funders, emphasizing the absence of essential systems within the institution.

Concerns were also raised about the center’s mission, with staff members unsure of its objectives. Founded by Kendi in 2020 following George Floyd’s death, the center attracted substantial donations from liberal philanthropists, including George Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society, Jack Dorsey, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Kendi, a vocal advocate for critical race theory (CRT) in education, advocates for identifying and dismantling systemic racism. His work, including books like “How to Be an Anti-Racist” and “Antiracist Baby,” has fueled discussions on race and equity, particularly in educational settings.

Amid mounting confusion and discontent at the center, Redwood proposed a retreat to address staff concerns. During this gathering, sociologist Saida Grundy criticized Kendi’s approach to social change as superficial and urged for a more focused mission beyond “fighting racism.” Despite its high profile, the center’s academic output remained relatively limited, with only two original research pieces published by November 2023.

Moreover, allegations surfaced regarding Kendi’s handling of the center’s finances and partnerships. He reportedly withheld financial information for six months and faced criticism for partnering with Deloitte’s diversity, equity, and inclusion arms, given the firm’s contracts with law enforcement agencies and prisons.

The revelations have sparked debate about the effectiveness and transparency of Kendi’s antiracism initiatives. As discussions surrounding CRT and racial equity continue to evolve, the challenges facing institutions like the Center for Antiracist Research underscore the complexities inherent in addressing systemic racism.

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