People of Georgian: Peer mentor embraces new role focused on Black student experience
February 25, 2022

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Nandi Young

There are many racialized Black folks moving north.

I want Black students to know that they don’t have to go back to Toronto for an education where they feel they’re among people they can identify with.

We have community here at Georgian and one of my main goals at the college’s Centre of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging is to build a network and create a solid foundation for Black students.

I want Black students to know they can be confident in choosing Georgian because they can see and hear everything the college is doing to foster a sense of community, belonging and inclusion.

‘I was struck by Georgian’s equity work’

When I was first looking at colleges, I was leaning toward going into the city just for the diversity, but I was struck by Georgian’s equity work.

For example, Georgian held forums on the Black student experience.

That was very interesting for me to see. The college wants to hear our voices and wants to have the input of racialized Black students, as opposed to just assuming what we want.

At a lot of institutions, they don’t ask.

I think that’s really important for Georgian to actively say, “We don’t have the answers, but we’re coming to you to find out how you’d like to be supported so you feel included as a part of the student experience.”

Even when you log on to the Georgian website you see a racialized Black woman on the main page. That’s huge; representation is so important and that let me know that Georgian is moving in the right direction in terms of inclusivity.

I want Black students to know they can be confident in choosing Georgian because they can see and hear everything the college is doing to foster a sense of community, belonging and inclusion.

Nandi Young, Georgian student

As the first Black Student Engagement and Outreach Assistant at Georgian, I would really like to see the creation of a sub-group under the Georgian College Students’ Association, specifically for Black students.

We could get input on what kinds of events Black students would like to see at Georgian, how they might feel about college material, and so on.

With the time I have left at Georgian, I want to create a safe place where Black students feel heard and validated because our voices matter, we matter, and we are important.

Nandi Young, mature student in Georgian’s Social Service Worker program, mentor in Georgian’s Peer Mentor program, and the first Black Student Engagement and Outreach Assistant with the college’s Centre for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.