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Make a difference: Support our Promise Scholars initiative for Black and Indigenous students

Posted by Rowe School of Business on July 21, 2020 in News

A message from Dean Kim Brooks and Interim Director Binod Sundararajan

Over the last couple of months, we in the Faculty of Management have been preoccupied by twin pandemics: the coronavirus pandemic and a longer-standing racism pandemic.

We’ve been working hard to respond to each, because we believe that management education and research take ideas from inspiration to realization. A management education trains students to solve some of the world’s most vexing problems. To get where we need to be, to do what we need to do, to become what is needed today and tomorrow, our Faculty of Management community must reflect a diversity of lived experiences and perspectives.

We ask you to join us in supporting a new Promise Scholars program. The program builds from one originally recommended in 2015 in Dalhousie’s, “Report from the Committee on Aboriginal and Black/African Canadian Student Access and Retention: A Focus on Financial support” [PDF] (Recommendation 21).

The Promise Scholars program will assist students in all four of the Faculty of Management’s Schools, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

We commit to supporting Scholars in this program in three ways:

  • financial support;
  • paid work during their program; and
  • wrap-around support specific to the student (ie. each student will be assigned a faculty, staff, peer, alumni and career advisor).

To qualify for the Promise Scholars program, a student has to be Black or Indigenous, with priority given to African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq students. From within the qualifying pool, students who come from low-income families or who are the first generation in their family to attend university will be prioritized.

How to donate

We would love to have widespread support for the program from our community. If you are able to give (every contribution makes a difference).

Donations over $500 will be acknowledged with thanks in our promotional materials for the program. Remember that donations can be made by monthly contribution. If you’re interested in being a more substantial donor or creating your Promise Scholar Fund, please contact the dean at and our Development Officer, Lisa Doucette at or (902) 220-7937.

What our students say

We embraced the Promise Scholars program at the urging of our student leaders. Here's why they think it's important: 

Today’s businesses are more powerful than ever and have a considerable impact on our society’s welfare. We believe they must serve the interests of society and deliver value to their communities. It is therefore imperative to educate a diverse student body prepared to tackle current issues and take on the problems of tomorrow. Diversity of thought and perspective drives innovation in the classroom and beyond, allowing for creative, progressive and meaningful problem-solving. Ask any university student: while our professors make an invaluable contribution to our studies, much of our education comes through collaboration with peers. Increasing representation from students of all backgrounds will strengthen our business program, lead to more equitable businesses and improve society's well-being.
—Jeff Arkin, MBA Society President

Diversity, inclusion and equity are not only important in the Faculty of Management, but anywhere people congregate. One of the most valuable things I have experienced as both a student on campus as well as throughout my residency is diversity of thought. Embracing individuals from unique backgrounds and perspectives allows for greater advancements in any field. As the Faculty of Management continues to grow, its representation of students and professors from different backgrounds must follow suit. Ensuring greater representation across the faculty will continue to advance the reputation of the school not only for our inclusivity but also the creativity and innovation that will come as a result.
—Rika Kebede MBA student