Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is donating $10 million to the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, launched in June by its director, Ibram Kendi.
Boston University announced the substantial donation in a press release issued on Friday. Kendi said the donation, given with “no strings attached,” would be “transformative” to the newly-founded center. $1 million will go toward immediate use while $9 million will be placed in the center’s endowment.
“I’m elated,” Kendi said in the release. “You want something, you work for something, you think something could be transformative — like a major gift to the center — but you never know when you’re going to receive it. For Jack to commit to us and to trust us and invest in us, I’m still coming to grips with it.”
Kendi also celebrated the gift on Twitter, saying, “Racism is a juggernaut. Racist policies + ideas are ubiquitous. We need juggernauts combating racism. We need the ubiquity of antiracist research, policy innovation, narrative change, and activism. Thanks @Jack for supporting the @AntiracismCtr + so many racial justice orgs.”
Racism is a juggernaut. Racist policies + ideas are ubiquitous.
We need juggernauts combating racism. We need the ubiquity of antiracist research, policy innovation, narrative change, and activism. Thanks @Jack for supporting the @AntiracismCtr + so many racial justice orgs. 2/
— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) August 20, 2020
Dorsey also gave a shout-out to Kendi: “$10M to Dr. Ibram Kendi and the Center for Antiracist Research at BU. This research will inform and fuel much needed and overdue policy change. I appreciate you Dr. Kendi, and I’m grateful for your work!”
$10M to Dr. Ibram Kendi and the Center for Antiracist Research at BU. This research will inform and fuel much needed and overdue policy change. I appreciate you Dr. Kendi, and I’m grateful for your work! https://t.co/M2zvIQYeEO
— jack (@jack) August 20, 2020
Boston University launched the center with Kendi, the author of bestselling book “How to Be an Antiracist,” shortly after a massive wave of protests erupted over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody on Memorial Day. The social unrest also spurred riots across the biggest cities in the United States that caused tens of millions of dollars-worth of damage in some of the worst hit areas. Activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement also kicked off a campaign to defund police departments, which had some success pushing elected officials to cut police budgets in cities such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York City.
According to its website, the Center for Antiracist Research is dedicated to solving the “seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice. We foster exhaustive racial research, research-based policy innovation, data-driven educational and advocacy campaigns, and narrative-change initiatives. We are working toward building an antiracist society that ensures equity and justice for all.”
Kendi was recently invited to give a lecture to NASA employees, titled “Understand Anti-racism by Understanding What it Means to be Racist.” The agency told The Daily Wire in statement that the event was aimed at getting employees “to engage in a dialogue about diversity and inclusion and follows the recent announcement of inclusion as one of NASA’s core values, which will enable NASA to attract the best talent, grow the capabilities of the entire workforce, and empower everyone to fully contribute.”
A similar lecture was held by the University of Connecticut and featured Robin DiAngelo, the author of the bestselling book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.” DiAngelo was reportedly paid $20,000 to train staff at the university on antiracism.