An MIT Alumni Association Publication

MIT Forum for Equity: Identity Framing and Black Lives Matter

  • Jay London
  • Slice of MIT
  • 1

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In support of the MIT community’s efforts to address systemic racism and become more equitable and inclusive, the MIT Alumni Association recently presented an MIT Forum for Equity webcast with Tabitha Bonilla ’07, assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, who discussed the success of the Black Lives Matter social movement.

A faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research, Bonilla focuses her work on how messaging about important topics in American politics can polarize attitudes or bridge attitudinal divides. In this interactive forum recorded in September, Bonilla shared her research on racial and ethnic politics and issues of retrospective justice, and discussed how that research connects with the Black Lives Matter movement. She also took live questions during the webcast.

“This spring and summer…particularly with the pandemic in full swing in the United States, we saw social media being able to highlight a lot of the violence that occurs for unnamed people and the disproportionate harms that have been inflicted on the Black community,” Bonilla says. “Social media has been a form to draw particular attention to these pockets of the community, as Black Lives Matter has often continued to do.”

Sponsored by the MIT Alumni Association, the MIT Forum for Equity series aims to engage alumni/ae through thoughtful online conversations that help educate, inform, and examine issues of social justice and help to catalyze change in our communities and in the world. More conversations are scheduled for throughout the 2020–21 academic year.

You can view past MIT Forums for Equity on the Alumni Association’s YouTube channel.

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Stuart Harvey

Mon, 11/02/2020 8:59pm

The BLM movement, while well-intentioned has lost its way. There is no justification for the violence--actually counter productive.