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Ibram X. Kendi—the number one New York Times–bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist, Stamped from the Beginning, and Antiracist Baby—is a historian of change. This summer, he’s moving to a new academic post at Boston University, where he’ll become the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. In this conversation with Elise Loehnen, Kendi talks through the historical myths, misconceptions, and dangerous oversimplifications that have contributed to current racist policies and systems. He debunks (with historical proof) the idea that we can’t create systemic change without overwhelming personal change. He reframes the differences between segregationist, assimilationist, and anti-racist thinking: Ensuring that there is resource equity across different spaces and that spaces are not segregated does not mean that spaces should be homogenized. In a country that is roughly 60 percent White people, Kendi pinpoints why it’s critical that we reject standardization and make room for more culture. (For more, see The goop Podcast hub.)

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