A Boston University professor has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees according to a public records analysis by The College Fix.
Ibram X. Kendi, a professor and the founder of Boston University’s “Center for Antiracist Research,” has collected more than $300,000 from lecturing at universities and two school districts alone. The analysis of Kendi’s contracts does not include data from 2021 or contracts outside of educational institutions, such as book festivals or liberal organizations, making $300,000 an underestimated figure.
The College Fix obtained contracts from lectures Kendi did at Western Michigan University, Purdue University, Madison Area Technical College, California State-Sacramento, and the University of California-Merced. The news outlet also procured copies of contracts from Highland Park Public Library in Illinois and the Fairfax County Public School district in Virginia — one of the nation’s wealthiest school districts.
From the seven contracts alone, Kendi brought home $91,500. The lowest payment he received for a lecture was $5,000, the lowest payment he received in 2020 was $10,000, and the highest payment was $20,000. According to The College Fix, Kendi has spoken to at least 30 educational institutions.
Kendi is a controversial figure in American political discourse. He is most known for popularizing the term “anti-racist,” which tells people that they must actively dismantle American institutions or risk being branded a racist. Kendi’s work helped create the Black Lives Matter phrase “Silence is Violence,” which tells people that being “not racist” is akin to being violent. The professor routinely argues against the existence of American institutions and systems, particularly capitalism.
As Kendi’s ideology gained popularity, his speaking fees grew as well. In 2017, when Kendi was a lesser-known figure, the University of California-Merced paid him $5,000 for a 45-minute speech followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. By 2019, Western Michigan University paid Kendi $10,000 to speak on his book “How To Be An Antiracist.” The speaking fee did not include the amount the university agreed to pay him for flights, hotels, and meals.
The event at Western Michigan University was free to students. The school paid for Kendi’s speaking fee and travel expenses out of pocket.
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Kendi’s speaking fees grew exponentially as demand increased for “anti-racist” training. In August 2020, the Fairfax County Public School District (FCPS) paid Kendi $20,000 to speak to principals, teachers, and school leaders for one hour. FCPS paid an additional $10,000 for a bulk order of Kendi’s popular book.
When Kendi spoke virtually for a public library in Illinois, the taxpayer-funded library shelled out $12,500.
In September, Purdue University paid $16,500 for a 45-minute virtual lecture and a 15-min question and answer session. According to the contract, each question asked had to be pre-approved by a moderator before the lecture began. During the same month, California State-Sacramento paid Kendi $15,000 for the same setup.
In November, Madison Area Technical College paid $12,500 to Kendi for an hour-long virtual lecture for 500 people.
Other “anti-racist” speakers are making bank through the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” industry as well. Robin DiAngelo, the author of the book “White Fragility,” made over $2 million from her book alongside a slew of cash from her pricey speaking fees. According to an analysis by The Washington Free Beacon, a 60-90 minute keynote speech by DiAngelo would run $30,000, a two-hour workshop $35,000, and a half-day event $40,000.