Boston University officials have announced an “inquiry” into celebrated historian and author Ibram X. Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research after complaints about the center’s management and culture were made by laid off employees. Saida Grundy, the former assistant director of narrative, told The Boston Globe that she was made to work unreasonable hours, calling it “exploitative.” Others described Kendi as an absent leader. Despite investment, including a $10 million donation from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, the center has not fulfilled some promises, including a Racial Data Tracker that would monitor racial disparities across the U.S., the Globe reported. Kendi came to BU in 2020 to found the center, which aims to develop “novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice,” and he was a winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2021. His book, How to be an Antiracist, exploded in popularity following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. The university said in a statement that Kendi “takes strong exception” to the accusations.
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