The Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program (ACMP) is a community and academic based initiative dedicated to supporting the social development of African, Caribbean, Black (ACB) Carleton students. Although our primary focus is to empower and educate ACB Carleton learners, we also extend our mentorship among ACB students from different academic institutions in Ottawa:
-Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
-Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB)
-University of Ottawa
The ACMP actively encourages ACB students in the Ottawa community to be confident in themselves while contributing to the broader society.
The ACMP continues to support and mentor ACB students in the following ways:
– Financial literacy
– Networking with professionals
– Developing communication skills
– Resume and interview skills
– Tips on applying to post-undergraduate programs
– Writing skills
– Fostering positive relationships and building confidence
– Practicing safer sex
– Leading discussions about Black and racialized Canadian scholars
– Conference readiness support
– Publication support
Even though the ACMP’s mandate focuses on the betterment of ACB students, we recognize that without the community of racialized and non-racialized people we cannot provide the wrap-around supports for ACB learners. With that said, the ACMP fosters a relationship of solidarity that will benefit all people who recognize that anti-Black racism does impact the learning abilities of ACB students and can be categorized as a social condition that affects the mental health of said learners. The ACMP promotes a balanced reciprocal relationship with all who strive to work towards a genuinely inclusive academic space, whereby ACB students can learn and meet their potential.
Founded in 2018, the ACMP recognizes that Ottawa-based ACB students’ experience moments of anti-Black racism, coupled with intersections of forms of discrimination- such as gender biases and ageism-within formal spaces of learning. These experiences can impede the social and learning development of ACB students and hinder their academic progress. ACMP’s mission is focused on advocating for inclusive formal learning spaces while concurrently supporting ACB students’ success.
Our events are open to all students and community members, where they will have access to resources that support all of those who attend. Events focused on financial literacy, networking, and building healthy relationships help ACB students further their academic and professional careers and give them a safe space to discuss these issues within a culturally sensitive learning environment.
When you invest in the ACMP, you enable ACB students to access to social and academic learning opportunities that foster community engagement and encourage their growth and success as students. Funds will be used to facilitate culturally sensitive events, purchase technology required to accommodate large crowds of ACB students and provide incentives to ACB students who actively are making positive change for the broader Ottawa community. For instance, last year during our 2nd Black History Month event, sponsored by RBC, the ACMP provided two $400 scholarship awards to two university students. These students not only demonstrated their want to succeed academically but both of them showed their willingness to set good examples to ACB youth in our community.
Through your support, we can not only support ACB students through their academic pursuits but you will be supporting a culturally sensitive initiative that empowers ACB students to meet their full potential. Unlike any project at Carleton, you will be affording this program to not only see a few more years at Carleton U., but you will be ensuring the ACMP legacy continues.
Our initiative is a testament to wrap-around supports for ACB students. We encourage community members -including parents/guardians and professionals- to engage ACB learners outside of ACMP events. For instance, our popular More Than Networking event (gathers 150 people each year) is an opportunity for ACB students to learn at the social outing while networking among racialized and non-racialized professionals. In doing so, the ACB students and professionals can build positive relationships, furthering the learning among ACB students. As such, we are encouraging the mentorship outside of ACMP events, which benefits ACB students, and we, as an Ottawa community, are all speaking the same message.
“I believe this is a worthwhile endeavour, keep up the great work.”
“This is a great opportunity for young Black people to raise their concerns and have them addressed.”
These are a few examples of some of the positive outcomes that our events have yielded. We intend to use this momentum to continue to support ACB students, while intentionally working with community members to rid anti-Black racism in learning spaces. All contributions to the ACMP help educate all on the harshness of anti-Black racism while changing the race-based discrimination to anti-oppressive, which will empower our young for our future.