How to Be an Antiracist: A Conversation with Professor Ibram X. Kendi

On October 5, 2020, the Columbia School of Social Work hosted an exciting event to advance University-wide discussions around anti-racist work. Professor Courtney Cogburn engaged in conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and Director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. After brief introductions by CSSW Dean Melissa Begg and Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, Drs. Kendi and Cogburn delved into a penetrating discussion of his third book, the New York Times bestseller, How to Be an Antiracist. The event concluded with remarks by Vice Provost Dennis Mitchell, whose office co-sponsored the event, along with the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, and the Office of University Life.

This event was recorded and will be available to Columbia affiliates for 30 days, from October 12, 2020 to November 11, 2020. To access the video, you must have a Columbia UNI and password. (To activate your Columbia UNI, please find instructions HERE.)

More Information on the Event

About the Event

Members of the Columbia community are making efforts to work against anti-Black racism and develop an anti-racist identity. Now we have a chance to learn from leading thinker Ibram X. Kendi (bio) as he presents his proposals for antiracist individual actions and needed systemic changes outlined in his 2019 book on this topic. Kendi was recently awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Professorship in the Humanities at Boston University, where he is also the founding director of the Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi will engage in conversation with Columbia School of Social Work Associate Professor Courtney Cogburn (bio), whose innovative research uses virtual reality to create an immersive experience of racism.

About the Speaker

Ibram X. Kendi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He is also the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Kendi is the author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize. He is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, a young adult remix of Stamped from the Beginning, co-authored with Jason Reynolds. He most recently authored the #1 Indie bestseller, Antiracist Baby, available as a board book and picture book for caretakers and little ones.

About the Moderator

Courtney D. Cogburn is an associate professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center. She employs a transdisciplinary research strategy to improve the characterization and measurement of racism and in examining the role of racism in the production of racial inequities in health. Cogburn’s work also explores the potential of media and technology in eradicating racism and eliminating racial inequities in health. She is the lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality experience of racism that premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She directs the Cogburn Research Group and co-directs the Justice + Equity + Tech (JET) Laboratory at Columbia University. Cogburn completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar Program and at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology, and MSW from the University of Michigan and her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia.