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Black Student Advising

About Us

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!


On This Page:

Contact Us

BSA Programs

     HBCU Exchange/Study Abroad

     Black Legacy Month

     Black Lady Genius Week

     Lorna C. Hill, '73 Graduation and Awards Celebration

Student Organizations

Black Campus Resources

Student Support Resources

Dartmouth Black Hair Care


Contact Us

OPAL Black Student Advising (BSA)
Collis 211D
Phone: (603) 646-0988

Kari Cooke
Assistant Dean and Advisor to Black Students

Kari Cooke is the Assistant Dean and 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 University of New York in addition to spending several years as a political campaign worker, before becoming a Policy Analyst for the Center for Disability Rights and the Director of Policy and Government Affairs at 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 national appointments to federal councils in addition to serving as a board member of several organizations nationwide. Cooke has a Masters degree in Counseling and is an alum of the University of Pennsylvania with an additional graduate degree in Higher Education Administration; more than anything else, she hopes students are committed to life-long learning.


Black Student Advising Programs

BSA Annual Theme

Annual Theme, civic engagement



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

DAB Fellowship Logo Dartmouth Advancing Blackness

Fall 2016 will see the inauguration of the Dartmouth Advancing Blackness Fellowship (DAB Fellowship). The DAB Fellowship is a development 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 in leadership skill development and professional transitions.


RISE Mentoring Program

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

The SupperTime dinner Black queer Dartmouth

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.


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. The deadline for HBCU Exchange applications are typically January 31st of each year. For more information on the application process be sure to look at the The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education websites below:


Spelman College/Dartmouth College Exchange

Dartmouth Spelman Exchange Study Abroad


Morehouse College/Dartmouth College Exchange

Morehouse College at Dartmouth


 Black Legacy Month

Black Legacy Month (BLM) at Dartmouth College takes place in February and 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.The purpose of Black Legacy Month is to recognize the Black experience in the U.S. and Dartmouth College, explore topical issues in the Black community while giving context to a vision of what the Black future could be, and engage the Dartmouth community in an appreciation for all that Black people have contributed to the campus and the world at large.

 Black Legacy Month Dartmouth Logo


Black Lady Genius Week

In partnership with OPAL Sexuality, Women and Gender V-February programming, Black Lady Genius Week takes place in the last week of February/first week of March recognizing both Black Legacy Month and Women's History Month. What makes the overlap of V-February and Black Legacy Month so unique and special to Dartmouth is that because of the transient nature of March at Dartmouth, we are not able to recognize and celebrate Women's History Month. As a result, both Black Legacy Month and V-February have decided to come together in the last week of February and first week of March to highlight the contributions of black women--who often experience erasure and lack of recognition within traditional heritage and history months. Recognizing that this erasure is a form of violence both V-February and Black Legacy Month are thrilled to pioneer Black Lady Genius Week at Dartmouth College. The mission of Black Lady Genius Week is to combat the violence of erasure by centering the voice and experience of Black women at Dartmouth and the U.S.

Dartmouth Black Lady Genius Week Logo



Lorna C Hill, '73 Graduation and Awards Celebration

Formerly known as the Black Baccalaureate, The Lorna C Hill, '73 Graduation and Awards Celebration is a culminating recognition celebration for graduating seniors who identify as part of the Black community. During the Stole Ceremony students are initiated into the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association (BADA), and stoles are received by students to wear during the campus-wide official graduation ceremony. The celebration typically takes place the Friday of Senior Week/Graduation Weekend.

Black Bacc Class of 2017 Dartmouth Lorna C. Hill


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 & Arts 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) dacc@dartmouth.eduFor 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) 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) men.of.color.alliance@dartmouth.eduThe 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@dartmouth.eduMosaic 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) NAACP@dartmouth.eduThe 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@dartmouth.eduWoCC 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.

      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 Support 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. Willette will be working from We're Makin' Waves Salon.  Sean is a Master Barber who has moved to the Upper Valley after working as a barber in Philadelphia for over 15 years. Sean will be available in the basement of the Shabazz. If you prefer to see Sean off-campus he can be reached at his salon at (267) 750-8813.

Proposed Dates for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer 2016-2017/18

Hairstylist - Willette                 Barber - Sean            
No service in Sept Sept 14
Oct 3 Oct 5
Nov 7 Nov 2
No service in Dec No service in Dec
Jan 9 Jan 11
Feb 6 Feb 8
No service March 1
April 3 April 5
May 1 May 3
May 22 May 24
June 5 June 7
July 17 July 19
Aug 21 Aug 23

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 Office of Institutional Research.

Last Updated: 7/3/17