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Surviving and Thriving Summit—Narratives from graduate students of color

Monday, April 4, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Low stone walls on the main quad at UNC-Chapel Hill

The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success program invites the UNC-Chapel Hill campus community to the inaugural Surviving and Thriving Summit. We will explore stories from graduate students of color through interactive story boards and a performance piece, culminating in a facilitated discussion. We invite you to join us in this gathering space as we learn from one another and build our community together.

Low stone walls on the main quad at UNC-Chapel Hill
Low stone walls

Below are themes that we’ll explore:


  • Struggling academically
  • Feeling alone
  • Mental health and well-being declining
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Feelings of vulnerability
  • Feelings of exhaustion
  • Contemplating quitting graduate school


  • Building community
  • Feeling understood and heard
  • Feelings of self pride
  • Asking for help
  • Building networks
  • Finding mentors
  • Being seen and known

From a Carolina graduate student who survived:

Graduate school can be a lonely journey. I started at UNC and shortly after we were in the middle of the pandemic, forcing us all to lose connection with people. I lost connection to my cohort, lab mates, advisor, and groups outside my department. For a while, I felt lost.

From a Carolina graduate student who thrived:

I have been surprised and thankful that bountiful resources exist at UNC-Chapel Hill for graduate students of all backgrounds. The Diversity and Student Success and Initiative for Minority Excellence programs have been an incredible way to network with other graduate students, share experiences, learn from others, and make friends.  

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.


Monday, April 4, 2022
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
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Sonja Haynes Stone Center
150 South Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 United States
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