Ignite community series

The Ignite community series is designed to promote the academic, professional, and personal development of graduate students who self-identify as underrepresented minorities (African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and Native Hawaiian) and underserved (low socio-economic background, first-generation college student, and other identities) groups at MIT. The series intends to enhance the co-curricular activities offered by MIT departments, labs, and centers – including Career Advising & Professional Development, by framing each seminar topic in terms of the graduate students’ racial and intersectional identities.

On a professional level, the seminars offer the opportunity for students from diverse academic departments to develop supportive peer relationships and to share experiences, insights, and strategies for managing the challenges of graduate work.

On a personal level, by bringing students together in an informal setting, the seminars lower barriers to making social and cultural connections among graduate students across the Institute. These events are also unique opportunities for students to meet and talk informally with faculty and administrators of color.


The schedule for the Ignite seminar series for the Spring 2019 semester is listed below.  Please see the past Ignte events webpage for additional information.

  • Thursday, August 30, 2019: Graduate Student of Color Welcome
    • Speakers: Ian Waitz, Vice Chancellor + Suzy Nelson, VP and Dean of Student Life Suzy Nelson + Blanche Staton, Sr. Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Graduate Education + student speakers + cultural and affinity student organizations
    • Location: La Sala de Puerto Rico (W20-202)
    • RSVP: via Eventbrite
  • Thursday, October 8, 2019: Ignite Mentoring with OGE Graduate Diversity Ambassador Program
  • Tuesday, October 29, 2019 @ 12:00 PM: Ignite Community Interests
    • Invited Guest:  Blanche Staton, Senior Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Graduate Education (OGE)
    • RSVP: By invitation only
  • Friday, November 8, 2019 @ 3:30 PM: Spill the Tea
  • Thursday, November 21, 2019 @ 12:00 PM: Ignite Gratitude
  • Friday, December 6, 2019 @ 3:30 PM: Spill the Tea

GradDiversity @ MIT Engage

View additional events at https://engage.mit.edu/organization/graddiversity


  • May 2020: MOSAIC: MIT Outstanding Scholars. Achieve. Inspire. Change. (formerly known as Graduating Minorities Luncheon)*



*Additional co-sponsors include the Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP), Office of Minority Education (OME), and Institute Community and Equity Office (ICEO)