Boston University Diversity & Inclusion
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Just a little while longer!

We know it's difficult. Mondays feel like Fridays. We laugh a bit less frequently. Our tempers flare more quickly. We think about the next family reunion, a 5-day in-person back-to-school reality, trips where sand and sun are in play. Is 8pm too early to drag oneself to bed? We think about planes and eating in over-crowded restaurants and jogging without masks and hair appointments in bustling salons or barber shops. Those of us with children think a great deal about summer camp. Oh, do we dream!

As in the photo above, from this experience will also emerge light and beauty and clarity. We are with you. Hold on, folks. Just a little while longer! The future is bright.

Take good care.
The BU D&I Team

Our latest NEWS.

BU D&I has new team members!

Boston University Diversity & Inclusion is thrilled to welcome two new team members!

Director of Special Projects

Beginning on Monday, March 15, Karin Firoza will be BU Diversity & Inclusion's inaugural Director of Special Projects. In this role, she will engineer and design major initiatives that are essential to advancing BU’s commitment to establishing an inclusive and equitable community. She will work collaboratively with various members of the BU community to identify opportunities and design solutions.

Karin has spent over ten years working in the higher education and nonprofit management space in the Greater Boston area. Most recently, Karin served as the Director of the Center for Intercultural Engagement and Social Justice Resources at Northeastern University working with a broad base of students, staff, and faculty to build capacity for training and education on a broad range of D&I topics, to develop educational programs, and steer strategic initiatives. She also has experience consulting with K-12 and higher education institutions on establishing inclusive school climates, including structural and relational strategies.

She has an MBA from Northeastern University where she focused on best practices for organizations that center equity and belonging for all constituents. She has a BA in Economics and Religion from Wellesley College. 

Karin can be reached at:


On Monday, March 8, Mike Tom will begin his role as BU Diversity &Inclusion's inaugural Communications Manager. In this role, Mike will oversee the strategy, design, and production of web, creative, and printed content as well as the office’s social media presence, amplifying BU’s DEI work. Mike will serve as a liaison to BU’s 17 schools and colleges, working in collaboration with communications specialists across the University to ensure consistent voice and messaging.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication Studies from Boston University and has over six years of public relations and communications experience, most recently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Mike can be reached at:

BU D&I's Process Evaluation Project

BU D&I’s inaugural Faculty Fellow (2020/2021), Deborah Chassler (BUSSW), is leading a process evaluation project with Greer Hamilton, doctoral student at BUSSW, and Camila Beiner, masters student in Emerging Media Studies at the College of Communications. 

As part of the Process Evaluation they are interviewing faculty and staff who have participated in a number of D&I programs and initiatives. Through the use of qualitative research methods, they will analyze the interviews to (a) gain insights and lessons learned about the work BU D&I has completed thus far, (b) understand what might be strengthened moving forward, and (c) create an archive of information of the early D&I projects at Boston University. Interviews have begun to highlight the ways that BU colleges, departments, schools and other units are implementing new structures, adapting their work to address the unique needs of their faculty, staff, and students both prior to the pandemic and also in response to pressing social issues. Interviews will continue through spring and early summer 2021.

Allies in ACTION.

CAS' Malika Jeffries-EL Featured in PBS NOVA  
3-Part Docuseries 

"Malika Jeffries-EL is the associate dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and associate professor in chemistry and materials science at Boston University. She was featured in 'Indestructible,' the second installment of the new NOVA series, which focused on how the chemistry of molecules is manipulated to create nearly unbreakable everyday objects." Read more...

Watch the docuseries here: PBS NOVA: Beyond the Elements

Newbury Center

The Newbury Center has been open virtually since the beginning of January, and in the coming weeks, the physical space will be ready to welcome students. Be on the lookout next week for an exciting campus-wide announcement about BU and the Newbury Center, but in the meantime, check out our website and past newsletters to stay up to date on our news and happenings!

Contact the center director, Maria Erb.


National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

February events from the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) that are included in BU's institutional membership include:

How to Develop a Daily Writing Practice
Thursday, March 11
2:00pm - 3:00pm

14-Day Writing Challenge
March 22 - April 4
*Registration Closes March 17

Navigating Faculty Career Transitions:
Getting to Mid-Career and Beyond

Tuesday, March 23
2:00pm - 3:00pm

CONVERSATIONS in our community.

Anti-Asian Racism

What This Wave of Anti-Asian Violence Reveals About America. "Too often, attention to nonwhite groups is only as pressing as the injuries that they have suffered." Anne Anlin Cheng. The New York Times. February 21, 2021.

DEI Leadership

How to Be an Inclusive Leader Through a Crisis. "Leaders are under extraordinary pressure right now. They are expected to make decisions quickly with incomplete and rapidly evolving information. And unfortunately, being in crisis mode can cause even the most intentional and well-meaning leaders to fall into patterns of bias and exclusion." Ruchika Tulshyan. Harvard Business Review. April 10, 2020.

Diversity in the Disciplines and in the Classroom

He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive? "Dan-el Padilla Peralta thinks classicists should knock ancient Greece and Rome off their pedestal — even if that means destroying their discipline." Rachel Poser. The New York Times. February 2, 2021.

Mining the Past, Mirroring the Present. "Adrienne Elise Tarver’s (CFA'07) art explores perceptions of Black women." Taylor Mendoza. Bostonia. December 14, 2020.

Not the Queen's English Department. "English departments rethink what to call themselves in light of how diverse they've become." Colleen Flaherty. Inside Higher Ed. February 15, 2021.

What LGBTQ Students Want from Their Faculty. "15 LGBTQ-identified Penn students tell faculty what they need in order to fully participate and learn in the classroom... This video was produced by faculty, staff and students at the University of Pennsylvania with support from Penn Futures Project and the Provost's Excellence Through Diversity program." Amy Hillier. January 19, 2019. (video)

Vaccine Access

As Biden Pushes for Racial Equity in Vaccination, Data Is Lagging. "The administration has race and ethnicity data for just 52 percent of vaccine recipients. Next week, it will begin shipping doses directly to clinics in underserved communities." Sheryl Gay Stolberg. The New York Times. February 9, 2021.


BU D&I—Learn More Series 

Topic Focus: Social Class 

The Curse of Connoisseurship 

Every Tuesday & Thursday throughout March

By nature, the world of wine and spirits tends to focus on expensive luxury goods, gatekeeping, and arcane learning. The elitism associated with these products contributes to class differentiation, with some groups gaining from the involvement while others become marginalized. Through a series of virtual speaking engagements, these events will address who is othered and made invisible as a result of under-representation in the wine and spirits industry. Helmed by students and alumni from the MET College’s Gastronomy Department, these conversations will bring together industry professionals from across the Boston beverage scene to discuss the existing barriers present within this community. In particular, we will foster conversations about the language, rhetoric, spaces, and events used to discuss, share, and sell wine and spirits.

Join us every Tuesday and Thursday evening throughout the month of March as we hear testimonies from the following beverage professionals:  Co-Sponsored by the MET College Gastronomy Department and BU Diversity & Inclusion.

Howard Thurman Center

Against the Hounds of Hell: 
A Life of Howard Thurman    

Monday, March 8  
7:00pm - 8:30pm

Zoom Passcode: 829079

Peter Eisenstadt's Against the Hounds of Hell offers a rich biographical exploration of the life and legacy of Howard Thurman. The Howard Thurman Center is proud to host Eisenstadt in conversation with fellow Thurman scholars to discuss the book and the man himself.
Featured Panelists:

Graduate Medical Sciences - DEI and
the Center for Regenerative Medicine

Understanding & Addressing Racism

Tuesday, March 9  
9:00am - 10:00am

This one-hour workshop with SPH alumna, Fatima Dainkeh, is created for participants to gain a foundational understanding of racism and how it impacts their day to day interactions on both the personal and professional levels. Participants will be introduced to the concept of anti-racism and engage with real-life scenarios to help further understanding.

For questions, or to request accommodations, please contact Farrah Belizaire.

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association

Movie Night: My Beautiful Stutter 

Tuesday, March 16  
6:00pm - 8:00pm

Witness the incredible transformation of 5 children through the experimental, interactive, arts-based programs a camp SAY, The Stuttering Association for the Young. Join BU NSSLHA for a movie night and post-screening discussion.

Sponsored by BU Diversity & Inclusion Catalyst Grants

BU Arts Initiative

The Reality of Artists and Mental Health

Thursday, March 18
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Art is a celebration of life and a way to acknowledge that every person, regardless of their personal circumstances, can contribute beauty to this world; however, the oft-stated concept of the tortured artist is prevalent and often true. Competition and extreme subjectivity in the art world encourage unhealthy lifestyles, and the artist is celebrated as a product, rather than as an individual.

Featured Panelists:
  • Tanya Gabrielian, Chair of Piano Department, BU School of Music
  • Peter Andrew Danzig, Director of Training and Capacity Building, Mayor's Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Philadelphia
  • Caroline Whiddon, Executive Director, Me2/Orchestra
  • Edson Filho, Associate Professor of Sport Psychology and Counseling, BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development
Moderated by:
  • Carrie Landa, Associate Director of BU Student Health Services and Director of Behavioral Medicine

Marsh Chapel and the
Faculty & Staff Assistance Office

COVID: A Year Later

Tuesday, March 23
12:00pm - 12:45pm

Please join Reverend Dr. Karen Coleman of Marsh Chapel and Sarah Henderson LICSW from Faculty and Staff Assistance Office for a reflective session to process our experiences and emotions of the last year. 2020 and 2021 have provided a steep and rocky emotional landscape. Come together to reflect and connect with colleagues from throughout the BU community.

School of Social Work Equity & Inclusion

From Settler Colonialism to Self-Determination: An Indigenous Perspective on Decolonizing Social Work

Thursday, March 25
5:30pm - 6:30pm

As social work moves toward reckoning with white supremacy, one vital piece of the discussion is often missing from the conversation: settler colonialism. Indigenous communities have contended with these disparities resulting from settler colonialism throughout time, often framing our interaction with the field of social work. This presentation will discuss previous harms against Native communities in both research and practice, highlight Indigenous contributions to social work, and ultimately address how settler colonialism relates to present day white supremacy. Centering Indigenous perspectives, this talk will conclude with self-determination as a way forward to decolonize social work.

Autumn Asher BlackDeer is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and is a doctoral candidate in social work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research is focused on interpersonal violence and behavioral health among Indigenous communities. Autumn holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Arkansas Tech University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa. Autumn is a strong proponent for American Indian higher education, advocate for survivors of sexual violence, and is committed to achieving equity and highlighting resiliency throughout Indian Country. 

D&I Faculty and Staff Community Networks

Faculty & Staff of Color

Thursday, March  4, 12:00pm - 1:00pm 
Artist Talk - Wen-hao Tien: Home On Our Backs
Join us for this event with interdisciplinary artist Wen-hao Tien, Assistant Director of Boston University Pardee School, Center for the Study of Asia. Tien will discuss her new solo exhibition Home On Our Backs at the Pao Arts Center. This timely work is distilled from Boston Chinatown stories and responds to our discourse of 2020. With much personal reflection, enlivened by Chinese folklore and culture, this exhibition is a refreshing take on nomadism and Chinese American stories. We will have ample time for a conversation.

Friday, March 5, 9:30am - 11:00am
First Friday Conversations
Drop by every 1st Friday of the month for an informal gathering of BU’s faculty & staff of color to connect, share, or just be.

Check out the Faculty & Staff of Color FSCN web page for further information.


Tuesdays, March 4 and 16, 9:15am - 10:00am 
Spilling the Tea

Wednesday, March 10, 12:00pm - 1:00pm 
General Meeting in Celebration of Trans Visibility

Wednesday, March 24, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Game Night Social

Check out the LGBTQIA+ FSCN web page for further information.


Wednesday, March 31, 1:00pm   
Rest Up to Step Up: Leadership & Resiliency
in the Time of the Pandemic.

The past year of dealing with the duel pandemics of COVID-19 and racism has been exhausting. We’ve had to be there for ourselves and for those we lead and care for, be they students, supervisees, family members or peers. It’s left many of us, particularly those with marginalized identities, feeling traumatized, depleted, and tired. How do we recharge our batteries and model compassionate self-care for others?  In this interactive workshop, we will explore this question and identify research-based strategies for increasing stress tolerance. Karen Brouhard, the director of BU’s Faculty & Staff Assistance Office (FSAO), will lead a meditation to support rest and rejuvenation and provide an opportunity for developing a personal resilience-cultivation plan for coping with the months ahead.

Co-Sponsored by the Faculty & Staff Assistance Office.

Check out the SAFEBUDS web page for further information.

BU D&I—Learn More Series

Topic Focus: Social Class

Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack: 
The Privileged Poor

Thursday, April 1

Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack will discuss how class and culture shape how undergraduates navigate college and shed new light on how inequity is reproduced. Jack will discuss the social and personal costs of exclusion on undergraduates’ opportunities and social well-being. As our final speaker in the series, Dr. Jack will analyze how higher education can enact different behaviors to create a more equitable and just environment?

Sponsored by BU Diversity & Inclusion

DATES and Deadlines.

Wednesday, April 21

9:00am - 12:00pm
Diversifying the Faculty: Best Practices for Search Chairs and Committee Members - Faculty Search Committee Training

Tuesday, April 27 

1:00pm - 4:00pm
Diversifying the Faculty: Best Practices for Search Chairs and Committee Members - Faculty Search Committee Training

Wednesday, April 28 

9:00am - 12:00pm
Setting the Stage for a Successful Search: Developing the Tools to Deepen Your Pool - Workshop to develop inclusive searches


Quips & QUOTES.

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once, but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own...”
Michelle Obama

Boston University
 Diversity & Inclusion
1 Silber Way, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02215

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