Boston University is bringing on Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, one of the nation’s leading scholars on race and racism, to establish a new anti-racism research center.
The effort is part of a goal set by the school to demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion amid nationwide protests over racial equity.
Kendi will establish a new research center, the BU Center for Antiracist Research, to bring together researchers and practitioners from across the university and the region to engage around issues of racism and racial justice, the school said.
Kendi authored the 2019 best-selling book "How to Be an Antiracist" and "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America," which won the National Book Award in 2016.
Kendi joins BU as a professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts & Sciences from American University, where he served as the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center.
The creation of the center and the addition of Kendi are "important steps forward," according to the university.
"While conversations about these developments have been underway for months, the need for work in this area has become even more visible in recent days, as we have all experienced painful reminders of the persistence of racism and racial inequities in our society," the university wrote in a statement.
The university's announcement comes as protests continue throughout the U.S. calling for racial parity and police accountability in the wake of George Floyd's death. Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer put his knee on Floyd's neck while he was handcuffed on the ground until he stopped breathing.