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 of social identities.

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 to advocate for inclusive formal learning spaces while concurrently supporting ACB students’ success.

The Background

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, and the broader community:

-Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)

-Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB)

-University of Ottawa

For the past four years, the ACMP has continued to actively encourage ACB students to be confident in themselves while understanding how to contribute to the broader society. We believe in a pay it forward to humanity approach.

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

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.

The Rollout

When you invest in the ACMP, you enable ACB students to access 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 that are designed for ACB students. Monetary support will be put forward for technology services required to accommodate large crowds of ACB students, honorariums for ACB community advocates and book bursaries for ACB students who actively are making positive change for the broader Ottawa community.

The Impact

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 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 create a genuinely inclusive academic space, whereby ACB students can learn and meet their potential.

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