Fri. Mar 1st, 2024
alert-–-ibram-x.-kendi-reveals-his-wife-is-suffering-from-metastatic-breast-cancer-weeks-after-his-boston-university-antiracism-center-was-slammed-over-mismanagementAlert – Ibram X. Kendi reveals his wife is suffering from metastatic breast cancer weeks after his Boston University antiracism center was slammed over mismanagement

Ibram X. Kendi has revealed his wife is suffering from metastatic breast cancer – weeks after the antiracism center he founded at Boston University laid off most of its staff.

The revelation, aired in a series of tweets from the award-winning author of ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ over the weekend, was accompanied with words of praise for wife Sadiqa Kendi – who he said has been privately battling the disease ‘for months.’

Currently under investigation for what sources have called an underwhelming output of research from the center, Kendi’s admission comes after at least $43 million in grants and gifts went into the program – which he himself founded three years ago.

The center, called the Center for Antiracist Research, seeks ‘to build a world where racial equity and social justice prevail’ – but per the school, was recently subject to several complaints ‘focused on the center’s culture and grant management.’

Those complaints culminated in a layoff last month that affected roughly 15 and 20 of its workforce – as well as the aforementioned probe at which Kendi, 41, is at the center. As the investigation remains ongoing, he spoke about his wife’s struggle.

Ibram X. Kendi (left) has revealed his wife and coworker Sadiqa (right) is suffering from metastatic breast cancer – weeks after the antiracism center he founded three years ago at Boston University laid off most of its staff

The revelation, aired in a series of tweets from the award-winning author of ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ over the weekend, was accompanied with words of praise for wife Sadiqa Kendi – who he said has been privately battling the disease ‘for months’

‘My partner @therealdrkendi shared a testimony on IG this morning in honor of #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth,’ he wrote of his fellow BU staffer, before revealing ‘she has been privately battling stage IV metastatic breast cancer for months.

Sharing a recent photo of his partner, a pediatrician at the school’s medical center, that showed her appearing happy and healthy, he added: ‘Her testimony begins with these powerful words: “I don’t look like what I’ve been through.”’

The under-investigation activist went on to address the bevy of claims of mounting against him – but not before talking up his wife of ten years and how he’s been ‘supporting her fight… over the last few months.’

The 2020 Time magazine 100 Most Influential awardee wrote: ‘[It] has allowed us to focus on what matters’ before citing several tenets like ‘Health. Love. Family. Friends. Gratitude. Learning.  

‘Being our best selves each day since each day can be our last,’ he said. 

In another tweet, he added how he is ‘in awe’ of the woman and her courage… love… grace… [and] power’ – calling her his ‘inspiration’, along with their two young girls.  

‘Always have been,’ Kendi said, before briefly pivoting to the fast-growing scandal.

Offering a vague statement that seemed to cast blame elsewhere, Kendi wrote:: ‘Recently, I have faced retaliatory or petty attacks about my management of the @AntiracismCtr by people who want to destroy my reputation.

‘By people who knew what my family was facing,’ he further remarked.     

‘But what has been happening to me has not been what matters; has not been the real storm,’ he insisted.

The 2020 Time magazine 100 Most Influential awardee wrote: ‘[It] has allowed us to focus on what matters’ before citing several tenets like ‘Health. Love. Family. Friends. Gratitude. Learning.’

‘The real storm is trying to survive the slow death of diseases (or the instant death from bullets or bombs).’

Stating that his wife today is ‘surviving and even thriving’, Kendi went on thank those who have stayed by his side as his leadership over the institute comes under scrutiny, whom he said, ‘knowingly or unknowingly,’ are supporting his wife ‘through her storm.

‘I want to thank everyone who has joined our family,’ he added.

‘I want to lift up everyone who is forming a supportive circle for those battling the storm of breast cancer. 

‘I am in awe of these women. These beloved women – their battle to survive and thrive – are what matters.’

Also offered up by Kendi was a quote from Sadiqa’s post in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in which the associate professor of BU’s School of Medicine wrote, ‘what’s matters is not, “Why did this happen?” [but] the question… “What now?”’

‘Sadiqa writes,’ quoted Kendi, ‘“I have decided to use my power to focus on living my best life, for however long or short I’m blessed to live it.”‘

Also offered up by Kendi was a quote from Sadiqa’s post in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in which the associate professor of BU’s School of Medicine wrote, ‘what’s matters is not, “Why did this happen?” [but] the question… “What now?”’

The admission comes just over a month after BU engaged in the shock layoff within Kendi’s department, three years after he founded the center at BU and six years after he funded a similar one at American University.

Amid these openings, Kendi was hailed as a hero of the left and an innovator in the field of academics – but is now facing accusations of mismanagement in regard to the more recent venture.

Some former and current staff told the Boston Globe that the center had been poorly managed by Kendi. 

‘There are a number of ways it got to this point, it started very early on when the university decided to create a center that rested in the hands of one human being, an individual given millions of dollars and so much authority,’ Spencer Piston, faculty lead of the center’s policy office told the publication.  

Former assistant director of narrative at the center, Saida Grundy, said the center lacked structure and the culture was ‘exploitative’ as she was asked to work unreasonable hours. 

‘It became very clear after I started that this was exploitative and other faculty experienced the same and worse,’ she told the outlet. 

Kendi garnered recognition in academic circles with his 2019 book ‘How To Be An Antiracist,’ which exploded in popularity during the global movement for racial equality in 2020. 

Then-president of BU Robert A. Brown said at the time that Kendi’s leadership ‘would create a critical emphasis on research and policy to help eliminate racism in our country.’

Kendi’s hiring announcement was followed by a flood of donations to BU to support the center and Kendi’s work, including a $1.5 million, three-year gift from the biotech company Vertex and a $10 million donation from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey later that summer. 

Former assistant director of narrative at the center, Saida Grundy, said the center lacked structure and the culture was ‘exploitative’

Spencer Piston, faculty lead of the center’s policy office said Kendi had too much power in the organization 

A few months later, The Rockefeller Foundation donated $1.5 million over two years to help fund the center’s COVID-19 Racial Data Tracker.

Kendi’s work, especially his children’s book ‘Antiracists baby’ has gained criticism for teaching children controversial critical race theory. 

Kendi defended his books in June 2022 as a way to teach people, including children, to ‘see racism.’

‘Well, actually, teaching people to see racism,’ Kendi said on ‘CBS Mornings.’ ‘There’s a difference. Race is a mirage. Racism is real. And it’s – you know who’s the most likely to be harmed by racism? Our children. You know who are least likely to engage about it? Our children. That’s what’s really prevailing me to do this work.’

The probe into Kendi’s alleged behavior and the allegedly misused funds – including $10 million donated from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey – is ongoing.

Per 2021 budget records obtained by The Daily Free Press, donors also included TJ Maxx’s foundation, Stop & Shop and Peloton – all donating over a million dollars.

BU’s Center first launched in 2020, and is currently still in operation.

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