Author and prominent critical race theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi was reportedly paid $20,000 to speak at a one-hour virtual event last fall at the University of Michigan.

Less than two months after he was listed in Time magazine’s "100 Most Influential People of 2020," Kendi, a humanities professor at Boston University, was paid $20,000 for participating in a Zoom discussion at the University of Michigan, according to the contract obtained through a public records request by Campus Reform.


The contract between the University of Michigan and Kendi's speaking agency, Penguin Random House, said Kendi spoke for 45 minutes and answered questions for 15 minutes during the presentation on Nov. 11, 2020, Campus Reform reported. The contract reportedly stipulated that if the event went over 1,000 attendees, the university would be charged a higher amount.

"Costs for this event were covered by the university's General Fund," the university’s director of Public Affairs and Internal Communications, Rick Fitzgerald, told Campus Reform. "General Fund money comes from a variety of sources, including student tuition and fees, state appropriations and costs recovered from sponsored research activities. It pays for teaching, student services, facilities and administrative support for the university."

The November discussion mainly focused on Kendi’s 2017 book, "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America," Campus Reform reported.

The book description on Kendi’s website reads, "From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial disparities in everything from wealth to health."

Kendi, who authored the best-selling 2019 book "How to Be an Antiracist," is one of the leading figures pushing the implementation of "critical race theory" in schools. The controversial line of thought teaches racism is embedded in every aspect of American society, often called "systemic racism" on the left, and pushes for the dismantling of traditional power structures. 

Kendi has argued that the only way to undo systemic racism in America is to "consistently identify and describe it — and then dismantle it​."


Fox News’ requests for comment from the University of Michigan and Kendi were not immediately returned.

Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.