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The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success program, which hosted a summit titled Surviving and Thriving: Narratives from graduate students of color in early April, is hosting several pop-up exhibits in departments and units at UNC-Chapel Hill during the fall 2022 semester. The inaugural Surviving and Thriving Summit, explored anonymous stories from graduate students of color through interactive story boards and a performance piece, and culminated in a facilitated discussion. Low stone walls on the main quad at UNC-Chapel Hill

The pop-up exhibits will be held in the following locations:

  • September 19-September 28; McColl building, Kenan-Flagler Business School, Tillman lobby
  • October 4-October 14; UNC School of Law, lower level
  • October 17-October 28; Student and Academic Services Building (SASB) North, near Upendo lounge.
  • October 31-November 11; TBD

This event is made possible through the ETS/Council of Graduate Schools Award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education. This effort, titled “Addressing Systemic Racism Through Structured Learning Communities,” looks to improve departmental racial climates as well as promote holistic student success for graduate students of color, ultimately creating a pathway for students to not only survive graduate school but thrive.

This experiential exhibit is open to our community at UNC-Chapel Hill, including graduate and professional students, undergraduate students, faculty, staff, and administration. The campus community is encouraged to view the pop-up exhibits throughout campus and reflect on the displayed stories through an interactive sharing platform.

Anonymously submitted surviving testimonial from a graduate student of color:

“It has been a rough transition socially. I am the only Black student in my cohort and am the only Black candidate in the entire program. I have very little built-in community … My imposter syndrome is through the roof.”

Anonymously submitted thriving testimonial from a graduate student of color:

“I have felt supported by individuals and small collectives in various places …. The Initiative for Minority Excellence has been a sanctuary, along with my carefully curated dissertation committee. Cross-disciplinary gatherings of fellow graduate students have also offered solidarity and reprieve.”

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