Imani Academic Mentorship Program
The Imani Academic Mentorship Program aims to meet the needs of the community with a goal of increasing representation of black students in post-secondary environments, including universities. Our core programming includes a number of key elements: weekly site days, monthly high school visits to U of T Scarborough, immersive ‘Day in the Life of a University Student’ experience, and culturally relevant trips focusing on experiential and transformative learning.
Instructor / Program Coordinator(s):
Emily Burgess, Olga Ulanova, Dita Everett
External Partners Faculty & Staff Students
University of Toronto Scarborough
Benefits to Students:
University of Toronto Scarborough students involved with Imani, report many benefits to their involvement including significant learning around identity, specific skills (many transferable to academia/work), literacy, self-awareness, confidence to speak up and out (voice), sense of purpose, meaning, belonging, career exploration and development, etc. We consider these profound learning moments that Imani has brought to life for our undergraduate students.
Benefits to External Partners and the Community:
In reflecting on the Imani program’s impact on the community, we know that the community can best articulate the impact: “I want to recognize that our partnership with Imani has helped to raise the profile of our marginalized students in terms of what is possible for the future. Our students, several coming from families without any members who have attended post-secondary, are seeing and experiencing the possibilities for them as they move through their schooling and the opportunities available to them right in their backyard so to speak. We are incredibly grateful of the support and mentorship from the Imani program and are ever thankful for Imani’s work with our Black student community, and with events like today, our community as a whole.” – A note from a School Principal
Benefits to the University:
The Imani program has called the Department of Student Life home for most of its existence. Over the years, there have been individuals who have recognized the significance of the program on multiple levels. These same individuals have stood up for the program that is now celebrated as an example of dynamic university community partnerships, which embody the principles of mutuality, respect, and reciprocity in meeting both community needs and UTSC students’ learning goals. The program has served as a significant contributor to the culture of the department on the axis of social justice, inclusiveness, and collaborator; the department works with clubs, departments, associations, and other equity seeking groups on campus, including the student union.
Information for Interested Students:
Visit the Department of Student Life’s Community page to learn more about the Imani Academic Mentorship Program.
Advice for Faculty and Staff Interested in Creating a Similar Experiential Learning Opportunity:
Photo by Ken Jones