An Anti-Racism Public Health Graduate Program: Mentoring of Students and Igniting Community

Samari et al. / Pedagogy in Health Promotion / June 2022

Black female professor teaching students in classroom while smiling

Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) are underrepresented in the public health workforce. Strengthening the public health pipeline through graduate institutions of public health is a necessary anti-racist approach to address health disparities. Programs that provide effective mentoring are one strategy for evidence-based anti-oppressive instructional practice, proven to help racial and ethnic students historically targeted by oppression in propelling career trajectories, professional development, and overall institutional experience in graduate school. The Mentoring of Students and Igniting Community (MOSAIC) program was founded in 2019 as a comprehensive and anti-racist faculty-to-student mentorship initiative for BIPOC and first-generation students. Through a scoping review of mentorship programs at schools of public health and an iterative feedback process that included faculty, students, and staff, the MOSAIC model was created. Built on the tenets of successful mentorship approaches, MOSAIC focuses on increasing equity and educational justice with a focus on professional development and academic success through faculty-to-student mentorship. The growth of MOSAIC has demonstrated it fills a critical gap for students of color and first-generation students in a school of public health. MOSAIC intends to act as a programmatic model for replication at other schools of public health to provide necessary support and mentorship for BIPOC students.