The Mentorship Initiative for Indigenous and Planners of Colour (MIIPOC) was established out of the recognition that, while urban and community planning has a significant impact on peoples’ lives and well-being, Indigenous, Black and People of Colour who are planners are notoriously under-represented in a profession that must act on behalf of their communities, communities which have been systematically under-served.
The program was created by a group of planners, aspiring planners and city builders who believe the inclusion of diverse perspectives is crucial to the creation of a city that works for everyone. We use our interdisciplinary, inter-organizational network’s strength to promote and accommodate the professional growth of Indigenous and People of Colour in urban planning. MIIPOC seeks to provide a social and professional networking infrastructure to support and connect planners who are Indigenous, Black or people of colour with opportunities for skills development and peer mentorship. MIIPOC believes professional mentorship is an effective mechanism to create sustainable career pathways, key to support individuals with their personal development goals and important to attract and retain Indigenous, Black and planners of colour who are critical to the efficacy of the profession.
Our goal is to operationalize and progressively strengthen the mentoring program. Within the next two years, the group intends to increase the number of beneficiaries that are part of the mentorship program to include academic institutions outside of the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, and eventually connect to high schools. Through this mentorship project, we hope to support the advancement and success of BIPOC in the field of planning.
We are a team of dedicated and resilient diverse urban planners, aiming to increase the interest and amount of BIPOC folk within the planning field.