Jul. 06 2020

Dean Linda P. Fried Recommends Book: How to Be an Antiracist

Each summer, Dean Linda P. Fried recommends summer readings for the Columbia Mailman School community to highlight critical public health issues applicable to faculty, students, and staff schoolwide. This year, Dean Fried, together with Raygine DiAquoi, assistant dean for Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion, recommended How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

In this 2019 New York Times bestselling book, Kendi, one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices, weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science—including the story of his own awakening to antiracism. Kendi is the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and a contributor writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent.

The book choice builds on the School’s 2019 commemorations of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved people from Africa in Jamestown, Virginia. Throughout the coming year, the School will provide opportunities for the Columbia Mailman School community to engage with the text—through seminars and lectures—and discuss key concepts. 

“This year, given our shared commitment to identifying, confronting and resolving systemic racism, both within our own institution and throughout society, along with our pledge to go beyond incremental change and enact the necessary transformations in our own institution, I am recommending a book for all to read this summer that will help prepare all members of our community to participate in, and contribute to, our transformation to a model of an anti-racist institution,” Dean Fried wrote in an email to the Columbia Mailman community.