Boston University gets $1.5 million for antiracism research

BOSTON — Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research was awarded $1.5 million from the Rockefeller Foundation to research racial disparities in the U.S., the university announced Thursday.

The grant will support projects including the center’s COVID-19 Racial Data Tracker, which is being used to study the virus’ impact on people of color. It will also support a project to track broader data on racial inequities.

Ibram X. Kendi, the center’s director, called it a “game changing gift.”

“It will allow us to accelerate our COVID and racial data tracker and our research teams to really study the problem and make more of a policy impact,” Kendi said in a statement.

The center was formed in July amid nationwide protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans killed by police. Its recent donors also include Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who is giving $10 million.

Otis Rolley, senior vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation’s U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative, said the funding is intended to help address America’s racial wealth gap.

“It takes wealth to make wealth, and Black and brown Americans have largely been excluded from inter-generational access to capital and finance,” Rolley said in a statement.

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