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A New Semester, a New Look, a New Administration, Newness Everywhere!

Welcome back, everyone! We hope you had a restorative winter break. For all of its difficulties, 2020 was an amazing year. And 2021 has gotten off to a roaring start. But, wow are we ever looking forward to the days when we're well past COVID-19 restrictions, physical distancing, and social isolation. We miss seeing, breaking bread with, sitting across tables from, and otherwise being in community with you all!

Meanwhile, we're excited about the changes that abound—in the country, in the direction our new administration is taking regarding equity and access (LGBTQIA+, racial, etc.), and environmental justice. An example of the important change of direction President Biden has taken can be found in this Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

And we're excited by the changes happening here at BU. If you didn't have a chance at the end of last semester, please consider checking out our last newsletter, which listed some of the great work units, departments, and individuals undertook last year. More locally, we're excited by changes within BU D&I (see below). We're building our capacity to help support faculty, staff, and students catalyze even more substantive change here at BU! And, on a smaller scale, we're happy with the new design of our newsletter. Let us know what you think!

Take Good Care.
The BU D&I Team.

Our latest NEWS.

BU D&I is expanding our capacity!

Boston University Diversity & Inclusion has recently hired an inaugural Manager of Faculty Diversity Initiatives and an Organizational Development Specialist & Trainer. You can read more about our new team members below.

Manager of Faculty Diversity Initiatives

Beginning on Monday, February 1, Megan Segoshi will be BU's inaugural Manager of Faculty Diversity Initiatives. In her role, she will work collaboratively with key stakeholders across campus to develop infrastructure to support, recruit, and retain faculty from groups historically underrepresented in the professoriate. Megan brings eight years of experience within the field of higher education, including roles in multicultural student affairs, diversity and inclusion administration, and educational technology. Prior to joining BU, she served as the Scholar and Community Engagement Program Lead at the University of Michigan's National Center for Institutional Diversity, where she worked to promote, disseminate, and highlight scholarship on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Megan's own research has focused on racial justice and identity development, and she has coauthored several scholarly articles about Asian Americans and affirmative action. She has a PhD in higher education from Loyola University Chicago, an MSW from the University of Georgia, and a BA in sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Megan can be reached at:

Organizational Development Specialist & Trainer

Thiago Abreu started with BU D&I on January 19 as our inaugural Organizational Development Specialist & Trainer. He works alongside Director of Learning & Training, Kristen Handricken, to provide trainings and workshops to BU faculty, staff, and students.

He serves as an internal expert on organizational change processes that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Boston University. Thiago assists in the design and delivery of curricula, webinars, workshops, presentations, trainings and other learning and practice-based strategies for students, staff and faculty across the University.

Thiago brings over 12 years of experience as a Learning and Development Specialist and Consultant. He holds a bachelor's degree in Organizational Psychology and Institutional Psycho-pedagogy, a master's in Training and Human Resources Development, and a graduate certificate in Innovation Management from Northeastern University. Thiago has international certifications and practice as a Design Thinker, Change Manager, Scrum Master, and Professional Coach. Since 2015, diversity, equity and inclusion has been a core component of all of his organizational development solutions and trainings. Joining us most recently from Fiat-Chrysler, Thiago brings a broad range of experience in training and coaching diverse teams from public and private sectors across the world, including South America, Germany, Italy, and France.

Thiago can be reached at:

Important Updates from Community & Inclusion

1. The search for the inaugural Director of BU's LGBTQIA+ Staff/Faculty Center. The goal is to have the new Director hired and on board after July 1, 2021, and the Center opened shortly thereafter. We'll keep readers posted as additional news develops.

2. The Newbury Center has officially opened! Maria Dykema Erb, its inaugural Director, joined BU at the start of the year and has hit the ground running. She is currently developing programming for students, including get-to-know-you and listening sessions, and has been meeting colleagues and potential collaborators from across campus. She can be reached at: Read Provost's Morrison's letter to the community announcing Maria's hire and the opening of the Newbury Center here.


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:

Cultivating Compassion & Collectivism:
A Multi-Week Course to Facilitate Healing from Racial Trauma

Wednesdays, February 10, 17, and 24
2 - 3pm

How to Align Your Time with Your Priorities
Thursday, February 11
2 - 3pm

Allies in ACTION.

Crystal WilliamsAngela Onwuachi-Willig

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean of the BU School of Law, was honored for her work to bring antiracism into law education. She and four other law school deans have created the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project, which provides resources about race and the law to their colleagues, students, and the public.

Read the BU Today story here: Angela Onwuachi-Willig among Five Black Women Law Deans Honored for Efforts to Bring Antiracist Reform to Legal Education.

Welcoming New Colleagues in CAS and LAW

The College of Arts and Sciences recently welcomed its inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Vincent L. Stevens. He most recently came to BU from Dickinson College where he was the Director of the Popel Shaw Center for Race and Ethnicity. Read Dean Sclaroff's letter to the CAS community announcing Vincent's hire here.

The School of Law recently welcomed Andrea Garr-Barnes as its Director of Diversity, Equity, and Engagement. Read more about Andrea here.

CONVERSATIONS in our community.

Amanda Gorman: Youth Poet Laureate, Inaugural Poet, and a Voice We All Needed!

Amanda Gorman reminds us that poetry is not a luxury. "The purifying power of poetry has existed as long as humans have wielded words. And for women especially, as [Audre] Lorde said, poetry 'is a vital necessity of our existence.'" Karen Attiah. The Washington Post. January 21, 2021.

Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Has Speech and Auditory Processing Disorders - Here's What That Means. "Plus, how she overcame them to deliver her moving poem, 'The Hill We Climb.'" Korin Miller. January 21, 2021.

Poet Amanda Gorman Made History With Her Inauguration Speech. "The Youth Poet Laureate red her piece 'The Hill We Climb' written especially for the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris." Emily Kirkpatrick. Vanity Fair. January 20, 2021.


Biden Repeals Trump-Era Ban On Transgender Troops. "'It is my conviction as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that gender identity should not be a bar to military service. Moreover, there is substantial evidence that allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military does not have any meaningful negative impact on the Armed Forces.'" Scott Detrow. NPR. January 25, 2021.

Biden's restoring what Trump stole from LGBTQ Americans. "In the first hours and days of the Biden administration, something precious has been returned to us. That invaluable thing that has been restored to LGBTQ Americans -- and many others -- is hope." Allison Hope. CNN. January 22, 2021.

What President Biden's LGBTQ Executive Order Does and Doesn't Do.
"It is now the policy of this administration that '[e]very person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.'" ACLU. January 21, 2021.

Black History Month

Black History Month Theme: 2021 Theme. "The black family has been a topic of study in many disciplines—history, literature, the visual arts and film studies, sociology, anthropology, and social policy. Its representation, identity, and diversity have been reverenced, stereotyped, and vilified from the days of slavery to our own time." ASALH.

This Is How February Became Black History Month. "'In celebrating Black History Month,' [President Gerald] Ford said in his message, 'we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.'" Julia Zorthian. TIME. January 29, 2016.

James Baldwin vs Williams F Buckley: A legendary debate from 1965. "The legendary debate that laid down US political lines on race, justice and history. In 1965 at the University of Cambridge, two of the foremost American intellectuals were challenged with the question: 'Has the American Dream been achieved at the expense of the American Negro?'" Aeon Video. February 18, 1965.

HAPPENINGS. Virtual and live.

Faculty & Staff Assistance Office

Restorative Yoga

Wednesdays, February 3, 10, 17, and 24
4:45 - 5:30pm

BIPOC centered and open to all, this restorative yoga practice invites slowing down your body and nervous system through passive stretching. In doing so, you can enhance your ability to self-soothe and better regulate stress responses. This is an all levels practice for every body. Props are encouraged, but not necessary. More information will be sent to registrants prior to classes. Led by 4 Corners Yoga & Wellness instructor Iris, founder of I Rise Mind & Body.

Visit FSAO's website for more February Employee Wellness Programs.

In collaboration with BU Diversity & Inclusion.

BU School of Medicine

The Legacy of Rebecca Lee Crumpler: What is Possible?

February 8 - 12
Zoom Livestream

Join BUSM and celebrate Dr. Crumpler’s 190th birthday with a virtual symposia and discussions to raise additional scholarship funds in her name.
  • Monday, February 8, 12 - 3:15pm
    Breaking Ground Building a Different Future
  • Tuesday, February 9, 3 - 5pm
    Stories from Trailblazing Healthcare Leaders (panel discussion)
  • Wednesday, February 10, 3 - 5pm
    Stories from Rising Stars (panel discussion)
  • Thursday, February 11, 6 - 7:30pm
    Supporting Connections: Mentoring/Networking Event for the Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP) Alumni and Students
  • Friday, February 12, 12 - 3pm
    COVID and the Black Community
Please visit the event page for further details, including the speakers for each session.

Center for Latin American Studies

Mapuche in Spanish / Chilean in Mapuzugun: Signs of a Mixed Poetic

Tuesday, February 9
3:30 - 5:15pm

Join us for a reading and conversation with Huilliche-Chilean poet Jaime Luis Huenún. The reading will be presented by Sergio Mansilla Torres, Chilean poet, scholar, and professor of philosophy and humanities at Universidad Austral de Chile. The conversation will be moderated by Adela Pineda, Professor of Spanish and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Boston University.

Please visit the event page for further information.

Co-sponsored by BU Arts Initiatives through their Indigenous Voices in the Americas program. Check out how BU faculty and staff can get involved in this interdisciplinary program!

BU D&I—Learn More Series

Topic Focus: Social Class

Class in American Society:
A conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

Wednesday, February 10
4 - 5:30pm

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will analyze the question “where do we witness the manifestation of class within our society?” through the lens of education and housing, two of the most intimate areas of American life. In conversation with Provost Jean Morrison, Hannah-Jones will chronicle and discuss the ways in which official policy has created and maintained class distinctions and offer ways to advance greater equity within our communities and schools.

Sponsored by BU Diversity & Inclusion

BU D&I—Learn More Series Discussion Groups

Nikole Hannah-Jones: Pre & Post-Event Discussions

Wednesday, February 3, 12 - 1pm
Pre-Event Discussion

Wednesday, February 17, 12 - 1pm
Post-Event Reflection

Join us to explore Nikole Hannah-Jones' work on the history of segregation in public education and housing, and its impact on our understanding of social class in the U.S. Engage in reflection and dialogue with colleagues before and after Nikole Hannah-Jones’ presentation and deepen your understanding of how social class manifests in the classrooms, offices, and halls of BU and beyond. Articles will be shared with upon registration for the session. 

Sponsored by BU Diversity & Inclusion

D&I Faculty and Staff Community Networks

Allies & Advocates

Thursday, February 11, 4 - 5pm 
Reflection Session
Creating a space to reflect on the BU D&I Learn More series event with Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Tuesday, February 23, 4 - 5:15pm 
Difficult Conversations for Allyship
The facilitator for this workshop will be Mark Braun, from BU's Organizational Development and Learning. Mark has recently led similar trainings in the BU community.

Faculty & Staff of Color

Friday, February 5, 9:30 - 11am 
First Friday Conversations
Drop by the first Friday of every month for an informal gathering of BU's faculty and staff of color to connect, share, or just be.

Tuesday, February 9, 10 - 11am 
Pre-Discussion to "Class in American Society:
A conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones"

The Faculty & Staff of Color Community Network is holding a discussion forum in preparation for the Nikole Hannah-Jones Learn More Series event. To help jumpstart this pre-event discussion, we ask that you listen to “Episode 2: The Economy That Built Slavery” from the 1619 Project podcast.

Listen on: Spotify or The New York Times (Transcript available).

Wednesday, February 24, 11am - 12pm 
Ask HR Anything
Directors from Human Resources will be available to answer any questions you may have about HR-related topics. They will also provide an update on resources that may support members of Faculty & Staff of Color Community Network.

You may submit questions in advance through the Q&A Submission Form.


Tuesdays, February 2 and 16, 9:15 - 10am 
Spilling the Tea

Wednesday, February 10, 12 - 1:30pm 
Trans and Non-Binary Experience at BU
What conversations need to happen? What can we each do to be better allies? How can we lean in to support our friends and coworkers?

Wednesday, February 17, 12 - 1pm
Monthly Lunch

Thursday, February 18, 5 - 7pm 
Be Black and Be You Kick Back Social
In collaboration with the Faculty & Staff of Color FSCN.
*Please note: this event is only open for Black and Queer affinity folx.*

Wednesday, February 24, 5:30 - 6:30pm 
Happy Hour

Hariri Institute for Computing

Distinguished Speaker Series
AI & Inequalities: Creating Change

February 12 - March 5

The potential for artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to induce or exacerbate inequality is now well-recognized. The Hariri Institute's Inaugural Distinguished Speaker Series AI & Inequalities: Creating Change brings innovative speakers at the forefront of creating change to Boston University. Come join Timnit GebruMeredith Whittaker, and Sabelo Mhlambi as they speak both individually and together about the ways in which researchers are making inroads against AI bias towards a more fair, ethical, and democratized AI landscape. 
  • Friday, February 12, 11am - 12pm
    Decolonial AI: Confronting AI's socially constructed role and its undermining of human rights and human dignity - Sabelo Mhlambi    
  • Friday, February 19, 11am - 12pm
    From Ethics to Organizing: Getting Serious about AI - Meredith Whittaker
  • Monday, February 22, 11am - 12pm
    The Hierarchy of Knowledge in Machine Learning and Related Fields and its Consequences - Timnit Gebru
  • Friday, March 5, 12 - 1:30pm
    Series Panel Event with all speakers
Please visit the event page for further information.

School of Social Work—Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series 

Black Contributions to Social Work & Social Welfare

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

Despite having a long and rich history of mutual aid towards families, communities, and neighbors, Black people have repeatedly been excluded from the histories of social welfare and social work. This talk will leverage historical texts, social work conference proceedings, and archival documents to highlight historical contributions to social work and social welfare made by Black individuals, leaders, communities, organizations, and movements that are often absent in the dominant literature of our social work profession. Topics of discussion will include historical Black efforts towards self-help, preservation, liberation, activism, and social justice and a social work profession failing to recognize these efforts as “social work” while struggling to confront anti-Black racism, train Black social workers, and meet the needs of the Black community.

View the Equity & Inclusion Speakers Series web page for past events.

College of General Studies

Emerging Scholars: Diversifying General Education

Friday, February 26
2:30 - 4pm

Amid an historic push for social justice, the College of General Studies will host an Emerging Scholars Symposium on diversifying general education this February, bringing scholars who specialize in teaching diverse texts together to help educate the CGS community.   

*Please note: this event is only open to members of the CGS community.*

Part of BU Diversity & Inclusion's Emerging Scholars Program.

Dates and DEADLINES.

February 2

Emerging Scholars proposals due to deans.

February 16

Deans' Emerging Scholars recommendations due to VP/AP Williams.

March 5

VP/AP Williams to announce accepted Emerging Scholars proposals.

Deadline Calendar

Quips & QUOTES.

“Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman

Boston University
 Diversity & Inclusion
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