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OPAL-Black Student Advising

About OPAL-Black Student Advising

OPAL-Black Student Advising (OPAL-BSA) is dedicated to enhancing the Dartmouth experience through supporting and challenging the community around issues pertinent to healthy identity development and the Black experience. We offer leadership opportunities, academic advising, and counseling support including, but not limited to, social adjustment concerns, academic/classroom issues, bias related incidents, personal issues, financial aid concerns, new program ideas, program funding, etc.

We also offer internships, support programming initiatives, and much more! Sign up for the latest OPAL BSA Newsletter!

We hope that you will find our office to be a great resource to you throughout your Dartmouth career.


On This Page:

Contact Us

OPAL-BSA Programs

Black Legacy Month

HBCU Exchange/Study Abroad

Student Organizations

Black Campus Resources

Student Services

Hair Care


Contact Us

OPAL Black Student Advising (BSA)
Carson Hall Suite 125
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: (603) 646-0988
Fax: (603) 646-9040

Dean Kari Cooke's photo

Kari Cooke

Assistant Dean/Advisor to Black Students

Kari Cooke is the new Assistant Dean/Advisor to Black Students ("Dean Kari") and brings to OPAL a depth and breadth of experience in higher education and community advocacy. She worked in higher education at Haverford College, Hunter College, and at The City College of New York in addition to spending several years as a Policy Analyst for the Center for Disability Rights and National Black Deaf Advocates. Specializing in community engagement, Cooke's work centers on the intersections of education, policy, and community change. A frequent speaker, she has presented on campuses around the country, served as a delegate for organizations such as the United Nations - International Young Leaders Assembly, and has federal appointments to national councils. Cooke has a Masters degree in Counseling and is an alum of the University of Pennsylvania with a graduate degree in Higher Education; more than anything else, she hopes students are committed to life-long learning.



OPAL-BSA Programs

BLAC, Dartmouth, Black Leadership Advisory Council

The Black Leadership Advisory Council (BLAC)

Summer 2016 will see the inauguration of the Black Leadership Advisory Council (The BLAC). The BLAC is a leadership enhancement program for Dartmouth Sophomores who have a passion for leadership, a desire for social change, and a commitment to campus engagement. We look for students who will contribute to a diversity of: leadership styles, personality types, identities of Blackness, experiential backgrounds, and political affiliations because the council believes that in such an environment effective leadership is best developed.

DAB Fellowship Logo Dartmouth Advancing Blackness

Dartmouth Advancing Blackness Fellowship (D.A.B. Fellowship)

Fall 2016 will see the inauguration of the Dartmouth Advancing Blackness Fellowship (DAB Fellowship). The DAB Fellowship is a mentoring program for Black men on campus, with a focus on supporting the transition of first-year students into the campus climate, as well as supporting upperclassmen with professional transitions and mentorship.

RISE Logo Dartmouth


Fall 2016 will see the inauguration of RISE. RISE is a four-year enrichment program for Black undergraduate women at Dartmouth that aims to build upon the Resilience, Integrity, and Strength of young Black women, Empowering them to be their best selves. This program will facilitate a smooth transition for first-year students on campus through its mentoring program, as well as support upperclasswomen with professional transitions and mentorship by Black women professionals in the northeast.

The SupperTime dinner Black queer Dartmouth

 The SupperTime

Implemented in Fall 2015, The SupperTime is a termly dinner that centers the Black Queer experience. Once a term a dinner guest who identifies is brought to campus and students have the opportunity for a group dinner with to celebrate, reflect, and simply just be with one another in a space of openness, support, and safety.

 Black Legacy Month

Black Legacy Month at Dartmouth College focuses on moving beyond history to let history inform the present and illuminate the future possibilities of Blackness at Dartmouth and the world at large. This month's theme of "#BlackJoy: Expressions of Blackness" focuses on celebrating the variety of ways students express their identities on campus, recognizing that Blackness is not a monolith and that every contribution has its place and its role in creating a Dartmouth that thrives, values difference, and contributes to the creation of a socially just world. Celebrate with us this month, use the hashtag #BlackJoyDartmouth on social media to share your attendance at various events!

Black Legacy Month, collage, student orgs


Student Involvement

While the logistical support for Black Legacy Month is provided by OPAL, all programs are developed, planned, and implemented by student organizations. The great events this year are put together by the following student orgs: D-Step, Soyeya, AAm, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, NAACP, Dartmouth Minorities in Business Association, Dartmouth Spectra, Men of Color Association, Soul Scribes, Women of Dartmouth, Dartmouth African Student Association, and Black Girls are Magic.

Sponsors and Contributors

Many, many thanks to our sponsors, we couldn't have done any of this without them: V-Feb Dartmouth, SPEC, Office of the President, Dean of the College, Institution on Diversity and Equity, Collis After Dark, Dartmouth Athletics, The Rockefeller Center, Department of Theater, Department of Music, Department of Geography, Department of English, and AAAS. To our sponsors we say "Ubuntu - I am because we are"


 Our Speakers for the month are dynamic, be sure to check them out!

Speaker bio, legacy month background, 2016


































The whole campus is celebrating with us, be sure to come out to other events during February 2016:

Spanish Dept

La Casa and the Department and Spanish and Portuguese have the pleasure to invited you to the talk
"Towards a Theory of Absence and Transatlantic Textual Memory: The Case of Gabriel García Márquez".
In this talk, Sarah Quesada, PhD candidate from Stanford University, will be reassessing the ontological nature of the Caribbean narrative, and the many ways in which African history is found within the margins of the texts, in the foundations of nation-building myths, the talk focuses in the case of García Márquez.
WHEN: Monday, February 8th
TIME: 4:30pm
PLACE: Rockefeller 001


 Alpha Phi Alpha Week 2016, Dartmouth College

Alpha Week 2016! Be sure to come out to these events:

February 14th - Valentines Day 5:00pm-6:00pm
February 15th - Alphademics - Career Panel 5:00pm-6:30pm
February 17th - Community Game Night - 8:00pm-10:00pm
February 18th - Are You Smarter Than An Alpha - 7:00pm-9:00pm
February 20th - Stroll Like An Alpha - 9:00pm



DOC Dartmouth Outing Club, Black History Legacy Month 2016
Dartmouth Outing Club

When: Sunday, February 21st, 7 PM
Where: Lowe Theater, the Hop
1. Screening of "An American Ascent"
2. Co-producer of "An American Ascent" and author of The Adventure Gap James Edward Mills will
3. Retired backcountry ranger and former Dartmouth Outdoor Programming Office Staff member
Wayne Hare will speak
4. One of the college aged climbers —Tyrhee Moore – who is in "An American Ascent" will speak
5. Student speakers from different communities on campus on: what makes a place inclusive, in their


HBCU Exchange at Dartmouth College

OPAL-Black Student Advising is thrilled to partner with Dartmouth College Off-Campus Programs to co-coordinate the HBCU Exchange program. Dartmouth College students have the opportunity to experience a term at either Spelman College or Morehouse College while enrolled on-term. For more information on the application process be sure to look at the The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education website.

Spelman College HBCU Exchange Dartmouth


Morehouse College HBCU Exchange Dartmouth



Black Related Student Organizations

  • Afro-American Society at Dartmouth (AAm) or

    The Afro-American Society is an organization dedicated to addressing the needs of Black students at Dartmouth. The AAm provides an important campus forum for the discussion of local, national, and international issues. The AAm provides ongoing cultural programs and social events designed to showcase the African-American experience. Students of all races and nationalities are encouraged to participate in meetings and activities.  SubCommittees of the AAm include:

    • Black Praxis

      A publication of the Afro-American Society, the Black Praxis is an undergraduate news publication dedicated to providing Black news and commentary on the ever-changing events at Dartmouth and around the world. The Black Praxis was established through the efforts of Black students who felt the need for a more comprehensive news medium within the College. The office is located on the first floor of Shabazz Hall.

    • Black Underground Theatre Association (BUTA)

      BUTA is a student-theater group that is devoted to the performing arts that explore Afro-American history and current culture. As a part of the Afro-American Society, BUTA usually holds meetings for performance suggestions and auditions during the beginning of each term. BUTA is always looking for new talent.

    • Dartmouth Alliance for Children of Color (DACC)

      For many of the children of color in the Upper Valley, it is not uncommon to find themselves in situations where they are the only person of color in school or community settings. The DACC volunteer program - part of the Afro-American Society - is designed to promote positive cultural awareness and expression, and to foster strong relationships between involved students of color and Dartmouth and Upper Valley minority children and their families.

    • Ujima

      Ujima is a student-run/student-coordinated dance troupe that focuses on expression through movement. The term Ujima is one of the seven Kwanzaa principles and means collective work responsibility. The group operates with these tenets in mind. An organization of the Afro-American Society, Ujima members include both professionally trained and untrained dancers. Its repertoire includes modern dance, jazz, African, and ballet, as well as any other forms participants wish to introduce.Dartmouth AAm Logo Afro American Society

  • Dartmouth African Student Association or
    Dartmouth African Students Association works to represent and be the face of the African continent at Dartmouth, as well as foster a stronger African community on campus. Our main goals are:
    (I) To raise awareness about the economic and political issues affecting the continent.
    (II) To tackle these issues of social justice and development.
    (III) To showcase and share African culture with the Dartmouth community.
    (IV) To create a sense of community within the group through social activities

    DASA Dartmouth African Student Association Logo

  • Dartmouth Caribbean Connection or

    DCC is a student-led cultural organization that strives to celebrate and educate the Dartmouth community about Caribbean culture. The organization was founded by a group of 8 undergraduate students who wanted to share and inform others of our unique cultural heritage. All races, genders and nationalities are welcomed.

    Dartmouth Caribbean Connection Logo
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) or

    The National Society of Black Engineers is a student-run organization that serves to recruit and retain minority students in science at Dartmouth College. Though it is primarily concerned with campus issues, NSBE's mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. Activities are open to the entire Dartmouth community.
    Dartmouth NSBE

National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. Chapters

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

    Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-American college male students, was established at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, on December 4, 1906. More than 125,000 men have been initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha since its founding in 1906. There are now close to 500 college chapters on campuses, and 350 alumni chapters in local communities, located in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

    Alpha Phi Alpha Theta Zeta Logo
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first Greek-letter sorority established for African-American women, was founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University. Continuing its 100+ years of service to all mankind, Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown to include more 250,000 members with chapters located throughout the globe. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Xi Lambda Chapter was chartered on March 21, 1983.

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Xi Lambda Logo

Multicultural Student Organizations

  • Dartmouth College Gospel Choir

    The Dartmouth College Gospel Choir performs concerts during the fall and winter terms in Rollins Chapel, during the spring term in Spaulding Auditorium, at campus events, and at various churches. Audition required? No, but you will be asked to sing to determine your voice range.

  • Dartmouth Alliance for Children of Color (DACC)

    For many of the minority children in the Upper Valley, it is not uncommon to find themselves in situations where they are the only person of color in school or community settings. The DACC volunteer program - part of the Afro-American Society - is designed to promote positive cultural awareness and expression, and to foster strong relationships between involved students of color and Dartmouth and Upper Valley minority children and their families.

  • Dartmouth Minorities in Business Association (DMBA)

    At the core, Dartmouth Minorities ins Business (DMBA) is an organization aimed at providing undergraduate students at Dartmouth College with potential business opportunities. This opportunities include pre-internship, internship, and full employment opportunities. In addition, DMBA periodically updates its membership to sponsor various endeavors such as Tuck Mentoring, Career Services resume/cover letter review, Tuck Bridge info session, and many more.

  • Men of Color Association (MoCA)

    The Men of Color Alliance is focused on addressing the issues and building a true community of men of color specifically, which deals with the goals and expectations faced by them. The Men of Color Alliance hopes to accept, support and uplift all men of color by bringing their worlds together and engaging a praxis of manhood. This can mean focusing on the social aspects and nuances of being a man of color, the academic burdens and pressure felt at certain times, aiding in professional development, helping to find definitions of manhood or discussing the issues that concern us more personally.

  • Mosaic

    Mosaic provides a supportive forum for individuals who are from multiracial and multicultural backgrounds. Mosaic promotes cultural, social, and educational understanding of the issues facing individuals and groups of mixed heritage.

  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

    The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

  • Women of Color Collective (WoCC) or

    WoCC is a Center for Women and Gender sponsored discussion group devoted to exploring issues women of color may face on campus and providing a bridge that connects participants regardless of residence, affiliation, religion, or sexual identity.

Black Campus Resources

    • Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association

      The purpose of the Association is to provide the continuing and active support of the College’s Black alumni in matters affecting the intellectual, cultural, social, and educational well-being of the Black Alumni and members of the Black and other minority communities, as well as the greater College community at Dartmouth.
BADA logo

    • Dartmouth Black Caucus

      The Dartmouth Black Caucus (DBC) is an association of the College’s employees of African descent. They meet periodically to address matters related to the status of Blacks (employees, as well as students) at Dartmouth.

    • Shabazz Center for Intellectual Inquiry

      The Shabazz Center is a 26 bed, co-ed Academic Affinity House located in Cutter Hall. Living spaces are available to upper class students by application only. The mission of the Shabazz Center Academic Affinity House is to enhance the intellectual and cultural milieu of the Dartmouth College campus, with particular regard to those issues which pertain to the historical and contemporary experiences of people of African descent. A special program within the Shabazz affinity house is the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship. The goal of the Chavez/Eastman/Marshall fellowship program is to promote student and faculty diversity at Dartmouth, and throughout higher education, by supporting completion of the doctorate by underrepresented minority scholars (including African-American, Latina/o, and Native American scholars) and other graduate scholars with a demonstrated commitment and ability to advance educational diversity.

      Cutter Murals

    • African and African-American Studies Program (AAAS)

      The African and African-American Studies Program is designed to provide all students at Dartmouth with an understanding of the historical, economic, political, social, and artistic experiences of people of African ancestry in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and elsewhere.

African and African American Studies

Student Services

  • Office of Pluralism and Leadership

    The Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL), aims to universalize diversity and leadership development at Dartmouth College by making student life experiences in these areas meaningful and relevant to the education of every generation of Dartmouth students. OPAL strives to provide comprehensive programs for cultural enrichment and leadership development to ensure that historically under-represented groups in particular and all Dartmouth students in general will have rich learning experiences outside the classroom. OPAL works with individual students, as well as student communities and organizations, to facilitate academic, personal, and cultural development and success.

  • The Undergraduate Deans Office

    The Undergraduate Deans Office, a department within the Division of Student Affairs, provides support for all undergraduate students as well as for other enrolled students.. The office's main mission is to support students in their engagement with the curriculum and in their overall experience at Dartmouth. Although each of the deans has specific areas of academic and counseling expertise, they are generalists in the sense that they support the mission of the office.  Students can schedule appointments with any of the deans.

  • Academic Skills Center

    The Dartmouth College Academic Skills Center offers a wide range of services, programs, resources, and materials which assist any student in becoming a more efficient and effective, independent learner. Students can make individual appointments to discuss their academic courses, learning strategies, or educational goals. Academic workshops are offered throughout the year to improve students’ academic skills in note-taking, reading comprehension, exam preparation, and time management.

  • Office of Professional Development (formerly Career Services)

    The Office of Professional Development assists students in connecting their academic studies with career options in post-graduate fellowships, graduate schools, and employment. The office also provides career counseling, career development, and graduate school advising. In addition, Career Services conducts workshops on resume and cover letter writing, job search strategies, interviewing techniques, career planning, graduate schools, and workplace issues.

  • Student Center for Research, Writing and Information Technology (RWIT)

    The Student Center for Research, Writing and Information Technology is a place where you can meet with an undergraduate tutor to discuss a paper, research project, or multi-media assignment. Tutors are trained to help you at any phase of your process.  Whether you are brainstorming or planning, drafting or structuring, tweaking or polishing, tutors can provide feedback that will help you create final products of which you can be proud.

  • Counseling and Human Development Office

    The Counseling and Human Development Office provides a variety of student services, such as crisis intervention, evaluations, short-term counseling, and referrals for longer-term therapy

  • The Tucker Foundation

    The Tucker Foundation combines community service programs with chaplaincy and counseling. The Tucker Foundation Chaplaincy provides individual academic, vocational, personal, and religious counseling. Volunteer programs include North Country Weekend, Big Brother/Big Sister, Book Buddies, the Prison Project, and tutoring at area schools. Students who want to become involved in local community service should contact the volunteer coordinator at the Tucker Foundation.

Black Hair Care

Black Hair Care Services in the Upper Valley

OPAL BSA has secured Willette Caynon and Sean Taylor as professional Black hair care providers available to all students and community members. Willette is a hairstylist with over 20 years of experience with natural and relaxed hair including locs, braids, weaves and extensions. Sean is a Master Barber who has moved to the Upper Valley after working as a barber in Philadelphia for over 15 years. If you prefer to see Sean off-campus he can be reached at his salon at (267) 750-8813.

Proposed Dates for Fall, Winter and Spring terms 2015-2016


  • September 21
  • October 5
  • November 2
  • December (No classes, no service offered)
  • January 11/ January 13
  • February 1
  • March 7
  • April 4
  • May 2
  • June 6


  • January 13
  • February 3
  • March 2
  • April 6
  • May 4
  • June 8

In the case that there are unforeseeable circumstances which prevent the hair service providers from traveling to Hanover on previously scheduled visits (i.e. illness, inclement weather, etc.) they will contact the office so that clients can be notified. In the event of such cancellations, providers will resume regular schedule the following month or reschedule.

Click here for information on booking appointments, service pricing, and additional hair service providers in the New England area.


Black Community Demographics

For the most recent demographic information reach out the the Dartmouth College Admissions Office.

Last Updated: 5/2/16