by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, headed by critical race theory guru and left-wing activist Ibram X. Kendi, has laid off almost half of its employees just three years after its founding, according to media reports.
Former employees of the center are now claiming that Kendi exploited them and mismanaged the center’s financial resources.
A university spokesman did not disclose the number of staffers that were leaving the center, but Fox News confirmed that 15 to 20 employees were laid off. The Boston Globe, which first reported on the center’s troubles last week, previously said that between 20 and 30 employees were let go.
Rachel Lapal Cavallario, a Boston University spokeswoman, said in a statement that the center is transitioning to a “fellowship model,” with Kendi remaining at the helm as its director, albeit with fewer employees. Before the recent layoffs, Kendi’s center employed about 45 people.
After the news broke, some staffers of both Boston University and the Center for Antiracist Research spoke out against Kendi’s mismanagement of financial resources and leadership.
Spencer Piston, faculty lead of the center’s policy office and a political science professor, told the Globe that internal problems “started very early on when the university decided to create a center that rested in the hands of one human being, an individual given millions of dollars and so much authority.”
The center opened at Boston University in the summer of 2020, soon after the death of George Floyd and the subsequent riots that engulfed much of the nation. In response, the university received a $10 million donation from former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, as well as $1.5 million donations from both the biotech company Vertex as well as the Rockefeller Foundation, according to the Globe.