by Adrienne Baker
The Black Community Initiative project is encouraging black students to attend Concordia by taking the University to the people.
"A lot of people in the black community, and in the wider community, don't even think of university as an option," said Project Coordinator Dave McKenzie. "Our idea was to make the university more accessible."
The idea grew out of a series of studies that addressed the low enrolment of ethnic minorities in graduate studies at Concordia. The research, which took place over a 10-year period, showed that enrolment among ethnic minorities was low in undergraduate programs as well.
The Black Community Initiative project emerged from the recommendations of the Multiculturalism and Issues of Equity Committee convened by the School of Graduate Studies in 1992. It was developed as a pilot project, and is now in its second year of operation under Advocacy and Support Services.
It has three main objectives: to recruit black students to undergraduate and graduate programs, to provide them with support to graduation, and to make black Montrealers more aware of Concordia.
Over the past year, McKenzie has been making connections with the black community all over the city. The Black Community Initiative is holding information sessions in community centres, high schools and CEGEPs.
Concordia students are involved in these sessions, and serve to show the important role students play in making the University a stimulating and effective institution.
"Concordia Corners" are being set up around the city to provide prospective students with information about programs and enrolment procedures.
MacKenzie wants to show Concordia off, too, of course. On January 29, he played host to 18 prospective students, giving them a tour of the University, lunch with black faculty, staff and students, and workshops with several units of student services.
- From the current issue of The Bridge, a publication for new Concordia students.