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Doors open on new Dalhousie University space for Imhotep's Legacy Academy

Posted by Media Centre on January 23, 2019 in News

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 (Halifax, NS) - Imhotep's Legacy Academy (ILA) welcomes members of Nova Scotia’s African heritage community, federal Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Andy Fillmore, and the Honourable Tony Ince, Minister of African-Nova Scotian Affairs as it opens the doors on its new Learning Centre, offices, and Makerspace on the Dalhousie University Sexton campus.

Since it began in 2003 as a university-community collaboration to build science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) capacity in the African Nova Scotian community, Imhotep’s Legacy Academy has been dedicated to creating pathways to education for traditionally-marginalized students in STEM studies and careers. ILA’s newly dedicated space in Dalhousie University’s IDEA Project, provides opportunity for the organization to enhance that mission, and each year more than 750 students participate in its programming at the junior high and high school levels.    

“For nearly two decades, Imhotep’s Legacy Academy has been the connecting tissue of a university-community partnership that strengthens support for and participation of learners of African heritage in STEM activities and studies in Nova Scotia,” said Peter MacKinnon, Dalhousie University interim President and Vice-Chancellor. “Together, with our STEM-focused faculty and educators, federal, provincial and private financial support, we’re so pleased ILA will have this new expanded location and Makerspace to continue serving the community. Our continued investment and support of ILA’s initiatives reflects Dalhousie’s broader commitment to diversity on our campuses.”

ILA employs a tri-mentoring model where volunteer university professors train university students who act as mentors to students in junior high and high school. Additionally, new programs and initiatives are developed by university students every summer. ILA programs have introduced STEM to more than 2,000 students at participating schools across Nova Scotia in the last three years. More than 30 of those students currently attend Dalhousie University, most in science and engineering programs.

The new 725 square foot Makerspace features a designated 3D printing room, soldering stations, wet lab, and collaboration workstations. At the official opening, a plaque will be unveiled to recognize the new spaces, to commemorate ILA’s dedication and contributions to the African Nova Scotia community, and to acknowledge its former home within two rooms of Dalhousie’s Killam Memorial Library.

“This recent expansion of space for Imhotep’s Legacy Academy means we can continue enriching participation of under-represented African Nova Scotians in STEM programs, and strengthening the community-university partnership,” said Dr. Pemberton Cyrus, Associate Vice-President Academic (Acting) and ILA President and Board Chair. “Our successful model of engaging community, university, mentors, students and others can be a model for others wishing to expand their participation in STEM education.”

Imhotep’s Legacy Academy is funded in part by Dalhousie University; NSERC Promoscience; TD Canada Trust, Nova Scotia’s departments of Education and Early Childhood Development, Communities, Culture and Heritage, and Labour and Advanced Education; the Black Business Initiative, the Halifax Youth Foundation, SimplyCast, and others.

For more information about Imhotep’s Legacy Academy, visit  

Media contact

Sarah Dawson
Dalhousie University



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