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. Past presentations have included speakers with expertise on financial planning, business start-ups, preparing for doctoral qualifying examinations, building professional support networks, managing stress, and negotiating conflict.

  • Monday, March 18th: Ignite Your Comeback from Racial Blowback
    • Speakers: Dr. Ebony McGee, Vanderbilt University & Dr. Lasana Kazembe, Purdue University
    • Location:  SPXCE (W31-110)
  • Monday, April 22nd: Ignite Your Wellness: What to do when you don’t know what to do
    • Speaker: Dr. Cecil Websiter, MIT Mental Health and Counseling
    • Location: SPXCE (W31-110)
  • Monday, May 13th: Ignite Your Leadership: Accelerate Your Grad Org
    • Speakers:  Nina DeAgrela and Joseph Granado, Division of Student Life
    • Location: SPXCE (W31-110)
  • Thursday, May 16th: Cafecito – Is there enough interest in a Latina/o Graduate Student Association?
      • Location: 8-219
  • Thursday, June 6th: gradMOSAIC
    • Celebrate our graduating doctoral and masters students, reconnect and meet other graduate students!
    • Location: Commonwealth Restaurant


Reserve your spot via Eventbrite at https://mitgraddiversity.eventbrite.com.


  • Friday, June 8th: 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)