Diversity Scholars Leadership Program

Diverse workforce calls for diverse approaches to education.

The Diversity Scholars Leadership Program (DSLP) supports emerging health professionals from under-represented minority communities who seek to be leaders in the movement to eliminate health and other inequities and the achievement of social justice.

The Aim of DSLP is to create an environment in which underrepresented minority students can flourish, combine their life experience with public health knowledge, and be connected to the wisdom, experience, and guidance of a strong network of alumnae of color and allies who precede them as MCH leaders.

DSLP Flyer 2020

DSLP Program Co-Directors: Jasmine A. Abrams, PhD and Lois McCloskey, MPH, DrPH

First generation students face unique challenges

Students from a first generation background bring great value to the classroom, but are often challenged by family obligations and limited finances. They may have difficulty communicating the realities of graduate school demands to family members and the realities of their own circumstances to students with more substantial resources. First generation status is a key criterion in the selection process for DSLP.

DSLP’s Three Pillars

Tuition & Professional Development Support

  • Diversity Leadership Scholars in 2020 are awarded a scholarship from the MCH C.O.E. for up to 4 tuition credits*. Please note: Due to our funding source, we must limit eligibility to US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents.
  • Diversity Leadership Scholars in 2020 are awarded professional development funds, for attendance at local or national conferences advancing health and equity.

Alumnae Mentoring

  • Each scholar will be matched with a mentor—a woman or man of color or ally who holds an MCH-related leadership position in the Boston area. Many of our mentors are graduates of the MPH/MCH program at BUSPH. Mentors help scholars navigate the complex learning and professional development process inherent in combining academic training, lived experience as a member of a minority community, and a passion for racial and social justice.

Community Building at BUSPH

  • The DSLP supports students to build relationships with mentors and other students of color at BUSPH. This can occur organically as well as through planned social gatherings, ‘racial justice talking circles’, and events such as ‘life course’ panel discussions with mentors.
Recent Diversity Leadership Scholars on community-building:

“Things like student-organized potlucks outside of school and the DSLP events, and the dinners we had at the beginning of the year to introduce us to each other, were kind of the threads that pull us together.”

“Meeting people who shared similar experience and interest—we just really bonded. That for me was the most valuable part of the program.”

“My mentor just gives really great advice. She has a really good bird’s eye view from her experience, like, ‘Okay, here’s where you are and here’s some great ideas on what you can do.’ She helped me focus my practicum. It was really great to have her there. It’s so helpful. It’s a good support.”



The DSLP requires the MCH Certificate and to be a member of an under-represented minority (URM) group. URM is defined as: American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino, South Asia and Southeast Asia. First-generation students are encouraged to apply.

*The DSLP program is supported by the federal HRSA/MCHB grant #2 T76MC000172500, and as such financial support is available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Foreign students may be selected as fellows if they choose to forgo the stipend.


How to Apply:

Stay tuned for an official announcement for the annual informational MCH Dinner and Fellowship Fair – TBD, fall 2020

CLOSED – 2019 DSLP Application

The 2020 DSLP application period will open in mid-fall 2020.