Skip to main content

BIPOC Graduate Student Mentoring Academy

Headshots of various BIPOC graduate students
"The sight of someone who resembles you excelling in your chosen endeavor serves as a constant reminder that success is not confined to any particular background or identity." - Barack Obama

A platform for BIPOC student success

Pjila'si, the BIPOC Graduate Student Mentoring Academy is an exciting initiative that aims to provide greater support for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) graduate students at Dalhousie University to receive mentoring opportunities. We hear you; we value you, and we are committed to working with you– Toqolugwejig. Wela'lioq

Program Overview

Beginning in 2022, the Faculty of Graduate Studies along with the support of other Dalhousie Faculties and Units, hosted a new mentoring program to support the academic, personal and professional development of our BIPOC graduate students. Initiated by a cross-disciplinary Executive Committee consisting of faculty, staff and students, from the BIPOC community, this program addresses barriers due to systemic racism that limits students from reaching their full potential. It offers tailored guidance, support, professional development opportunities and networking events dedicated to supporting the aspirations of BIPOC graduate students. The program plays a central role in connecting graduate students with Mentors who are experts in their fields and who share their racial or ethnic backgrounds. This initiative emerged from the voices of Dalhousie's graduate students and aligns with the universities anti-racism efforts. There are approximately 550 self–identified BIPOC graduate students at Dalhousie who can benefit from this program. Mentorship is crucial for professional growth, and the program recognizes the value of shared experiences and perspectives. Our goal is to have a Mentor for every Mentee, a one-to-one match. 

Program Objectives

This consistent, university-sanctioned framework for graduate student mentoring and professional development aims to support the Mentees toward their careers. This includes support towards careers outside of academia by non-faculty BIPOC Mentors (e.g., administrators, industry experts, and community members at large).

Some of the objectives of the BIPOC Mentoring Academy are:

  • Contribute to Dalhousie University’s strategic objective of creating safe spaces and fostering a sense of community by connecting students with other students and professionals from BIPOC communities.
  • Facilitate communication and relationships between BIPOC graduate students and Mentors.
  • Promote and increase intercultural competency, social and academic engagements, and networking with peers.
  • Provide additional support for graduate students who walk at the intersection of multiple equity–deserving populations.

Dalhousie University recognizes the importance of efforts in prioritizing Mi'kmaw and African Nova Scotian students. The BIPOC Mentoring Academy maintains a similar emphasis on engaging and supporting Indigenous and Black graduate students, while also providing similar assistance to all people of color. Its goal is to celebrate diversity, amplify marginalized voices, and offer support towards intersectional issues.


  • Applications open: May 1, 2024 (for Mentors) and August 1, 2024 (for Mentees)

  • Applications close: September 30, 2024

  • Program orientation: Mid- October

  • Program period: October to May