6/24 A Day of Collective Engagement: Racism and Antiracism, Our Realities and Our Roles

View the BU Day of Collective Engagement Agenda here.

A Note from President Brown & BU Leadership:
June 16, 2020
Dear Boston University Community,
We are currently experiencing one of the most significant human rights moments of our lifetimes, as people in all 50 states and around the world have mobilized in horror in response to the killing of yet another unarmed Black person by the police. This movement was sparked most recently by the heinous murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, but is also in response to the deaths of countless Black people as a result of centuries of racism and racist policies and structures. The racial disparities which undergird so much of contemporary American society have also been laid bare in the disproportionate toll the COVID-19 pandemic has had on American communities of color. As a community of individuals committed to the attainment of knowledge and pursuit of the truth, we believe it is the responsibility of the entire University community to listen, learn, think critically about, and collectively reflect upon these issues deliberately and with the seriousness they deserve. What is racism? What are the policies that animate, perpetuate, and protect it? How did we get here? How do we change the policies and practices that perpetuate racism? These questions are essential at this moment in our history. And, exploring them is a necessary first step if we are ever to successfully address systemic racism. So, to begin, we will examine, learn, and reflect.
On Wednesday, June 24, we will turn our collective attention to exploring these and other questions during a University-wide Day of Collective Engagement: Racism and Antiracism, Our Realities and Our Roles. The day will begin at 8:30 am with an opening plenary titled “A Conversation on the History of Racism.” This will be followed by a series of concurrent sessions, a Town Hall led by University leaders, and multiple closing debriefing sessions moderated by staff, faculty, and administrators.
We will soon launch a website with details about the day’s schedule and how to access sessions. We ask that all faculty and managers ensure that all classes, meetings, and events currently scheduled for June 24 be rescheduled on another day so that all members of our community can fully participate in these dialogues.
We look forward to coming together as a community to start what must be an ongoing conversation about this vitally important issue.
Robert A. Brown
Jean Morrison
University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Crystal A. Williams
Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of English