BU Diversity & Inclusion
New Beginnings.
Distinctively & Together.

September 2020.

There is so much newness these days. Everything from how our classes are taught to getting Starbucks on Comm Avenue differs, sometimes substantially, often to our regret. As it turns out, living through a historical moment is challenging. Even the most adventurous among us find it taxing. For some of us, it is not just challenging; it is miserable. Many of us have never experienced this amount of upheaval.

Pema Chodron wrote: "To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest." Indeed, we are all thrown out of the nest at the moment, flapping our wings in the wind.

We here in BU D&I hope that, as we all experience the world through new eyes, everyone actively practices compassion, patience, openness, and kindness. We will need all of those—and more—to get through this new nest-building and new flight successfully, safely, and with grace.

Take care out there. And, welcome back to BU!

The D&I Team.

BU D&I News

BU D&I Has a New Director of Learning & Training!

Kristen Handricken is a graduate of Bridgewater State University and Harvard University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Specialized Master of Education in Equity and Inclusion. Kristen comes to us from the Boston Public Health Commission where she has coordinated Racial Justice and Health Equity organizational development and training programs for the City of Boston employees since 2015. Kristen brings over twenty years of experience in the fields of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as organizational development and training in the public and private sectors. In the field of higher education, Kristen has held positions at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, the Center for Peaceable Schools and Communities at Lesley University and Urban College of Boston. She has worked as a consultant, educator and facilitator dedicating herself to enhancing organizational and community capacity for equity and justice through training, learning and practice.  

Kristen's first day is Monday, August 31st. She will begin immediately working on the conceptualization of train-the-trainer models to build additional DEI capacity across campus. Our new Learning and Training model will differ slightly from the previous model that offered trainings that were uniquely tailored to units. Instead, while we will offer tailored trainings on a limited basis, in order to build greater capacity, she will begin to develop opt-in trainings in order to accommodate more learning and training requests. Please help us welcome her to our community.
Inclusion Catalyst Grants 
We are opening our call for grant proposals for our Inclusion Catalyst Grants. These grants support creative, collaborative, initiatives that generate learning and stimulate efforts to foster inclusive and equitable communities at BU. All faculty, staff and students with ideas are eligible and encouraged to apply. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, October 9, 2020.  
Learn More Series 
Each year we devote ourselves to investigating a single topic of social importance through our Learn More Series. This year we focus on social class. Later this month Historian Nancy Isenberg and Medical Anthropologist Paul Farmer will join us to explore the History of Class in America and Social Class: A Global Perspective, respectively. See Happenings, for details, dates, and registration information.
Strategic Planning, Diversity & Community

For the past year and a half, Boston University's Provost and Chief Academic Officer Jean Morrison has led a University-wide strategic planning process, which identified five key strategic pillars for the University Strategic Plan for 2030: Accelerating the Future. Those pillars are:
  • Vibrant Academic Experience
  • Research That Matters
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Community: Big yet Small
  • Global Engagement
We are now entering into Phase IV of the planning process, which includes more substantive planning and implementation work.

Vice President and Associate Provost for Community & Inclusion Crystal Williams serves as a co-sponsor for the deeply interconnected Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Community: Big yet Small pillars. Her co-sponsors are Yvette Cozier, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Jason Campbell-Foster, Senior Associate Dean of Students, respectively. Their work, along with the work of all pillar sponsors, will be to help oversee the identification and development of initiatives that will advance the University's interests and standing in each of these essential areas.

Related News

BU Hires Alumna and Former Trustee as Senior Diversity Officer

President Robert Brown recently appointed Andrea Taylor to serve as Senior Diversity Officer in the Office of the President. She will work closely with the President and Board of Trustees on matters related to institutional diversity. Read more about her appointment here.

BU Hires a New Dean for the School of Theology

Provost Morrison recently announced the appointment of Dr. Sujin Pak as the new dean of STH. Dr. Pak will join BU on January 2, 2021. She is Associate Professor of the History of Christianity and Vice Dean of Academic Affairs in the Divinity School at Duke University.

New Support for BU's Center for Antiracist Research

Historian and scholar Ibram X. Kendi, Mellon Professor of Humanities and  founder of BU's Center for Antiracist Research, has been busy ensuring that the new Center is well funded and well positioned to undertake its important work. Most recently, Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter) donated $10 million dollars to the Center. Earlier this summer, the Vertex Foundation donated $1.5 million dollars to the Center.

Allies & Advocates in Action

BU Hub

"Are you interested in immigration issues, U.S. immigration policy, or arts activism? This fall, students can register for HUB CC 199: Hostile Terrain 94: Immigration, Politics, and Activism Through the Arts and participate in the construction of and discussion around the Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) art installation, which focuses on the human toll of U.S. immigration policy. As part of an international group of hosting institutions, Boston University will be installing HT94 on the second floor of the George Sherman Union. HUB CC 199 is a Hub cocurricular experience that carries a Hub unit in The Individual in Community."

You can register for HUB CC 199 on Student Link.
For more information about Hub cocurriculars, please visit our homepage.

HT94 is a participatory art project sponsored by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a non-profit research-art-education-media collective.

Notes from the Schools and Colleges
College of Arts & Sciences

Elena Carrión Guerrero, Spanish Lecturer, and María Datel, Senior Spanish lecturer, in the Romance Studies department, have been working over the summer to create an Anti-Racist Learning website with resources that they hope other educators will be inspired to translate into their own language and culture classes.

School of Social Work

The School of Social Work has created a new source for Equity & Inclusion Resources.This page includes articles, book chapters, podcasts, etc. related to race and racism, anti-racism, activism and social justice, social work, and more! While the resources are available to all, there are sections that are specifically aimed toward faculty, staff, and students, respectively. They can be used for classes or for your own personal growth and learning!

Center for Latin American Studies

500 Years of African Presence in Mexican Music
Throughout the summer of 2020, CLAS has been engaging with current events, particularly how nation states have excluded African and indigenous voices from their ongoing conversations surrounding modernity and social justice. Latin America in particular cannot be understood without recognizing its own history of colonization and struggle. Music and culture provide one of the best lenses through which to view the history of encounter on the Latin American continent.
Africa’s presence in Latin America, while very visible in the musical traditions of Brazil and Colombia, has been less visible in Mexico. In this conversation, Professors Michael Birenbaum Quintero and Benjamín Juárez explored the rich musical heritage of Mexico and African involvement in the formation of la música de México.


100th Anniversary of the Suffrage Movement

100 Years of Suffrage: A century after women's suffrage, the fight for equality isn't over. Rachel Hartigan. National Geographic. July 21, 2020. "Women struggled for decades to win the right to vote, but it's taken even longer for all to be able to exercise it."

For Black Suffragists, the Lens Was a Mighty Sword. Sarah Elizabeth Lewis. The New York Times. August 12, 2020. "Photographs of generations of Black suffragists offer invaluable documents about their thwarted and central roles in the history of women’s rights."

Winning the Right to Vote Was the Work of Many Lifetimes. Kate Clarke Lemay. The New York Times. August 13, 2020. "It took generations of women — mothers and daughters, leaders and followers — to secure the 19th Amendment."

Inclusive Hiring

How To Make A Less Racist, More Inclusive Job Listing. Monica Torres. HuffPost. August 20, 2020. "You may think your job listing sounds welcoming to people of color, but the wording can send a different signal."


Faculty and Staff Community Networks

Faculty and Staff of Color FSCN

First Friday Conversation
Friday, September 4 | 9:30-11:00 am

Join via Zoom.
Drop by on the first Friday of each month for an informal gathering of BU’s faculty & staff of color to connect, share, or just be.

Allies and Advocates FSCN

Welcome Back Meeting
Thursday, September 24 | 4-5:15 pm
Register here.
Join the BU Allies and Advocates FSCN to welcome us back to the start of the school year and reflect on the BU D&I Sponsored Events in the Learn More series on Social Class in September. To be sure you’re on our email list, please email us at

Staff and Faculty Extend BU Disability Support (SAFEBUDS)

Destress Sesh
Friday September 25 | 2-3 pm

Join via Zoom.
SAFEBUDS invites faculty and staff who live with disabilities to a monthly stress reduction focused gathering during the Fall semester. Our first session will include introduction to a simple tool to aid with pandemic stressors and time to listen with compassion and empathy.  

D&I Learn More Series

History of Class in America

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 | 12:00 pm 

Register here.

Historian Nancy Isenberg kicks off our series tackling the question of “what is social class?”.  She will present the history of the class system in America, extending from colonial times to the present.  Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg will analyze the assumptions that liberty and hard work ensured social mobility within our nation’s history.

College of Communications

After Hiring: Creating a Truly Inclusive Culture

Thursday, September 17 | 3-4 pm

Register here.

We talk about the value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, but hiring is only the first step. How do we create a truly inclusive and welcoming culture in a communications operation—a place where everyone can truly thrive? What are the ways we can each take action—as individuals, employees, allies, and leaders? We hope these stories of inclusiveness will prompt reflection, and provide inspiration to creating a better world, one organization at a time.

Panelists will include:
Anthony Harrison (COM'81) - president-elect, BU Alumni Council
Jeannine Carter - founder and CEO of Inclusive Innovations
Nyema Wilson (COM'21) - president, COM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Group
Michelle Sullivan - associate dean, COM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

*This session is open to BU community as well as the general public*

D&I Learn More Series

Social Class: A global perspective

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | 10:00 am
Register here.

Medical anthropologist and physician Dr. Paul Farmer will examine poverty and justice from global humanitarian perspective in a conversation with BU School of Public Health Dean Dr. Sandro Galea. Dr. Farmer will discuss his experience providing direct health care services, and researching and advocating behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. 

Initiative on Cities

Black Boston: Changing the Face of Politics

Monday, September 21 | 5-6 pm

Register here.

The Boston University Initiative on Cities, the Boston University Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and WBUR CitySpace present Black Boston, a recurring virtual discussion series featuring transformative Black leaders from across Greater Boston. The series provides a forum to examine our city’s progress toward inclusive access, equity, and opportunity—and where we still fall short.

In the last twenty years, Massachusetts has elected its first Black governor, first Black congresswoman, and Boston has had its first Black woman City Council President. How much progress have we made? What steps do we need to take to elevate new leaders, ensure equitable representation, and engage and enfranchise new voters?

Join the Boston University Initiative on Cities, the Boston University Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and WBUR CitySpace for Black Boston: Changing the Face of Politics, the third in a recurring discussion series featuring transformative Black leaders from across Greater Boston.


  • Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, U.S. House of Representatives, Massachusetts 7th Congressional District; first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts and the first person of color elected to the Boston City Council (At Large, 2010–2019)
  • Representative Nika Elugardo, Massachusetts House of Representatives, 15th Suffolk District; Graduate of Boston University School of Law
  • Andrea Campbell, Boston City Councilor, District 4; first Black woman to serve as Boston City Council President (2018–2020)

Moderated by:

  • Kimberly Atkins, Senior Opinion Writer and member of the Editorial Board, The Boston Globe; MSNBC Contributor; Graduate of Boston University School of Law and Boston University College of Communication

BU Law

Getting Answers to Questions You’ve Been Afraid to Ask

Wednesday, September 23 | 5:30-7 pm
This session will be held via Zoom.

BU Law will be kicking off their In Real Law (IRL) 2020-2021 programming series with their first session: Getting Answers to Questions You’ve Been Afraid to Ask. IRL works to connect first generation law students and law students of color with a diverse group of practicing attorneys throughout Boston. These programs bring the students and attorneys together to discuss the challenges facing people of color in the field of law. This session will touch on:
  • Navigating law school and networking as a law student from under-represented groups
  • Maintaining your confidence and personal well being
More information on the IRL programming series can be found on their website.

If you would like to attend an IRL program or have any questions, please email Nick Horan, Associate Director for Academic Enrichment,

*Please note that these programs are only available to BU Law students*

Quips, Quotes, & Short Considerations

"The wound is the place where the Light enters you."



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 Diversity & Inclusion
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