BU Diversity & Inclusion

BU Diversity & Inclusion:
Distinctively & Together

Some of you might be wondering what we mean by "Distinctively & Together." Well, we mean a few things! 

First: It is our belief that our differences are a source of mutual strength and wisdom.  And, that by acknowledging our individual distinctions as being valuable to and valued by the University, we also elevate our distinctiveness as an institution. This sentiment is reflected in the University's Diversity Statement.

Second: We mean that we here at BU can address our mutually held diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in a uniquely BU way. We can do that by (a) innovating, (b) undertaking what we know to be effective practices and, (c) creatively and effectively using the strength of our size (we're 33,000 strong!), composition (we are truly global university!), and passion (so many of you are doing such good work!) to more fully embody our founding principles.

So many people and units here are doing wonderful, thoughtful work. Under "Allies and Advocates in Action" below you'll see just a bit of what some of our BU colleagues are up to. We celebrate them—and all of you who advocate for more diversity, equity, and inclusion in your spaces. Thank you.

So, yes. Distinctively & Together. That's how we'll create lasting change here at Boston University. Happy October, Everyone!

The D&I Team

BU D&I News

Speakers & Workshop Series
Last week, the BU D&I Speakers Series began in earnest with renowned Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva on the question: What is race? Surrounding his talk were a host of skill-building and learning opportunities for staff and faculty. Because of high demand, we've added an additional learning opportunity, which is listed below under "Happenings." 

Later this month, Kimberlé Crenshaw will join us for a talk on Intersectionality (see below for rsvp link and details). As with all of our speakers, there will be opportunities for BU staff and faculty to engage in additional skill-building/learning related to her talk.

BU Inclusive Catalyst Grants (ICGs)
All students, staff, and faculty recently received notice about our new Inclusive Catalysts Grants, which are meant to support collaborative and creative programs and initiatives that generate learning and stimulate efforts that foster inclusive and equitable communities at BU. The deadline for grant submissions is Monday, October 7. Please contact Alana Anderson,, with questions.

Staffing News
Shari L. Johnson, BU's Director of Inclusive Organizational Development and Training will be leaving BU at the end of the fall semester in order to pursue her passion for D&I work privately. While this is a loss for BU, we can still benefit from her knowledge and expertise through this semester. Shari will continue her work with departments and programs and host events as planned. The search to fill the role is up and running (you'll notice that we've changed the title a bit). The position description can be found on HR's website. Please help us spread the word.

Allies & Advocates in Action

Underrepresented Graduate Student Organization hosted its first annual research symposium focused on the work of graduate students from historically underrepresented groups on Thursday, September 26th. The event was a huge success and featured work by more than 60 graduate students. Introductory and congratulatory speeches and comments were made by President Brown, VP for Research and Associate Provost Gloria Waters, Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs Daniel Kleinman, and keynote speeches were given by Professor Karen Warkentin and Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion Crystal Williams. The UGSO has a Facebook page and can be reached at:

ARROWS (Advance, Recruit, Retain, & Organize Women in STEM) hopes to catalyze and support undergraduate-led projects that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at BU. You can learn more about ARROWS, their programs, and this and other funding opportunities on their website. You can also contact them directly at:

Campus Planning & Operations (CPO) has been hard at work in non-residential buildings transforming the remaining single-occupant bathrooms to all-gender. With these improvements, BU now has 730 all-gender bathrooms, nearly half of all non-residential bathrooms campus wide. 

Over the summer, Student Health Services (SHS) began a new multi-year initiative to update and expand the gender-affirming health care services provided to students. Their overarching goal is to deliver high-quality, affirming, and accessible care to transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse students. To meet this goal, they have expanded the gender-affirming services offered to include hormone therapy and referrals for gender-affirming surgeries. They have also reviewed all SHS policies and procedures, including ensuring that, when possible, all forms and documents accurately reflect the chosen name, gender, and pronouns of each student who uses SHS services. They will continue to deepen this work over the 2019-2020 academic year.
Raul Fernandez and Luz Lopez, members of the 2019 Inclusive Practitioners Cohort, at a recent cohort reunion.


Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk?

Dr. Tatum will be at BU on Monday, October 7th. Please see the listing under "Happenings" below.
"When her 3-year-old son told her that a classmate told him that his skin was brown because he drank chocolate milk, Dr. Tatum, former president of Spelman College and a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service, was surprised. But through conversations with her preschool son, followed by talking to teachers, colleagues and parents, she came to realize it is the things we don’t say and the matters we don’t discuss with our children that find their way into racist dialogue and thinking.’" ~TEDxStanford


Center for the Humanities
Can We Talk?: Dialog and debate in the contemporary academy

Thursday, October 3, 2019
8:30 am - 5:15 pm 

WBUR CitySpace
890 Commonwealth Ave

  • Language Matters: Discussing Difficult Texts (9:30-11:00AM)
  • Corporate University: Acknowledging Student, Faculty, and Administration Fault Lines (11:15AM-12:45PM)
  • Shop Talk: Nurturing Honest Dialogue Across Labor Divides (1:45-3:15PM)
  • Further Reflections Roundtable: Looking Ahead Together (3:45-5:00PM)
Please visit the event page for registration and more information.
BU Arts Initiative
Global Music Festival

October 4-5, 2019

Celebrate world music at the BU Global Music Festival this October 4-5, 2019. Enjoy extraordinary music from artists from Niger, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, and many more, PLUS educational events, a cultural organization fair, and a global bazaar... all right on BU’s campus! Free & Open to the public of all ages with registration.

Please visit the event page for registration, and the event schedule and locations.
Wheelock College of Education and Human Development

Can We Talk About Race? A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum

Monday, October 7, 2019
10 - 11:30 am 

Metcalf Trustee Center (GSU Ballroom)
775 Commonwealth Ave
Lunch & Learn
Reflective Reading and Discussion: The Role of Race in Our Work

Due to popular demand, a reflection on the Eduardo Bonilla-Silva readings has been added!

Thursday, October 10, 2019
11:30 am - 1 pm

The Marsh Room

735 Comm Ave
(lower level of Marsh Chapel)
School of Public Health

400 Years of Inequality: Breaking the Cycle of Systematic Racism

Friday, October 18, 2019
8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Hiebert lounge 
72 E Concord St
Boston, MA
D&I Speakers Series

Intersectional Identities and Race


Monday, October 21, 2019
4:30 - 5:30 pm 

Questrom Auditorium (HAR 105)
595 Commonwealth Ave

Watch the livestream during the event!
Allies & Advocates Lunch
For faculty and staff
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
12 - 1:30 pm

9th Floor Ballroom
1 Silber Way
Lunch & Learn
Workshop: The Role of Intersectionality in Our Work
As a follow-up to the campus-wide speaker series featuring a lecture on intersectional identities presented by Kimberlé Crenshaw, we will have a training on the importance of intersectionality in our classrooms and departments. This workshop is open to both faculty and staff, and there will be a separate workshop held on the Medical Campus.

Seats are limited to staff and faculty.

Charles River Campus

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
12 - 1:30 pm

GSU Terrace Lounge
775 Commonwealth Ave
CRC — Staff RSVP Here
CRC — Faculty RSVP Here
Medical Campus

Monday, October 28, 2019
11:30 - 1 pm

Dean's Conference Room R-112
72 E. Concord St
(please enter the Housman Building via the Medical School entrance)
MED — Faculty & Staff RSVP
A Conversation on Developing Faculty & Staff Networks (a.k.a. Employee Resource Groups)
Monday, October 28, 2019
3:30 - 5:30 pm

Kenmore Room, 9th Floor
1 Silber Way

Please join us for a community conversation on faculty and staff networking as we seek to create intentional communities on the BU campus! Please note: At this meeting we will be discussing the creation of groups for:
  • Faculty and staff living with disabilities,
  • Faculty and staff who are LGBTQIA-identified,
  • Faculty and staff of color, and
  • Allies and advocates
Seats are limited.

Quips, Quotes, & Short Considerations

“I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” ~ Toni Morrison

To submit your happenings for possible inclusion in this newsletter, please email news items, events, and accomplishments to Thank you.

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

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Diversity & Inclusion, Boston University · 1 Silber Way # 8 · Boston, MA 02215-1703 · USA