AOC's alma mater trains faculty to 'unlearn' notions about racism, gender

Session topics included 'Inclusive Learning Spaces,' 'Implicit Bias and Microaggressions,' and 'Neurodiversity.'

The 'Learning and Action Workshops' specifically focused on 'learning to unlearn.'

This past semester, Boston University’s Diversity and Inclusion (BU D&I) team offered numerous workshops and trainings aimed at “building foundational DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] knowledge and developing inclusive, equity-based practices.”

Available to university faculty and staff, the BU D&I’s trainings are considered “central to the institutional goal of building a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse BU community.” 

Included in the workshops was the “Inclusive Leaders Program,” a 12-hour training split into two 6-hour sessions that took place this past March and April. A stated goal of the program was to “[d]evelop the racial and cultural literacies needed to build a consistent practice of equity and inclusion at BU, including a deep understanding of race, racism, whiteness, and white supremacy culture.”

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The Inclusive Leaders Program also taught faculty and staff to “foster psychological safety, create accountability, and center marginalized identities in management and decision-making.”

BU D&I also held DEI-based “Learning and Action Workshops,” which “are about learning to unlearn.” These two-hour sessions offered throughout March and April featured topics like “Inclusive Learning Spaces,” “Gender and Sexuality,” “Neurodiversity,” “Implicit Bias and Microaggressions,” in addition to “Race, Racism, and Antiracism.”

In particular, the “Race, Racism, and Antiracism” session sought to educate enrollees on “key concepts in race and racism and learn how racism manifests and functions in our society.” Participants were also instructed on how to “identify dimensions of racism, develop skills needed to interrupt racist harm, and explore how to be anti-racist in daily life.”

[RELATED: University rewards staff who attend ‘microaggressions’ seminar]

For those enrolled in the “Gender and Sexuality” training, emphasis was placed on concepts such as learning what “each letter of the LGBTQIA+ acronym” represents and how “our understanding about gender evolved from a male/female binary to a gender spectrum.” Participants were also informed about “the importance of normalizing inclusive gender language in the workplace.”

Established in 2015, BU D&I collaborates with all 17 schools within the university to “build a positive and inclusive campus environment, to help ensure that not only are we more diverse but also that pathways to success and participation are open to every member of the BU community.”

According to its website, BU D&I champions the school’s “history of inclusion,” such as BU “graduating the youngest woman to serve in the US Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” and previously employing Marxist professor Howard Zinn on its faculty. 

Campus Reform has contacted BU D&I for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.