The Brown Center for Students of Color; LGBTQ Center; Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender; and the Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income Student (U-FLi) Center support the work of the following peer counselor programs.
Minority Peer Counselors (MPC)
The Minority Peer Counselor Program (MPC) is a peer mentorship counseling program housed in the Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC). The MPC role reports directly to the Assistant Director of Brown Center for Students of Color (with support from the BCSC Program Coordinator and the MPCCs housed in the BCSC). The MPC Peer Counselor Program is a year-long extension of our pre-orientation for first-year Students of Color known as the Third World Transition Program (TWTP). TWTP welcomes new students to Brown and provides an introduction to the support structures and resources available at Brown. The purpose of the MPC is to guide first-year students of color in a year-long exploration of systems of oppression that exist in our society today, including racism, classism, sexism, cissexism, heterosexism, ableism, and imperialism while introducing engagement within the BCSC as a sense of home.
In January of 1973, the Minority Peer Counselor (MPC) Program was created by Black upperclass students. The counselors volunteered their services to provide Black students with ongoing academic support with an emphasis on building a sense of community, tradition and strength. By using a system of community support, the student-run program has had a significant impact on making incoming students of color feel comfortable in a predominantly white institution. MPCs receive comprehensive training on a range of skills, which include navigating/awareness of the various systems of oppression (e.g., racism, classism, sexism), active listening, crisis intervention, mediation, conflict resolution, promoting pluralism and diversity, and building community. MPCs have a special emphasis on mentoring and supporting first-year students of color. MPCs facilitate campus-wide workshops on race and its intersections with class, gender, sexuality, and other social identities. They are a vital link in the network of support available to new students of color.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) Peer Counselors
The Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) Peer Counselor Program is a collaborative student peer leadership and mentoring program co-supervised by the LGBTQ Center and the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender. This collaboration reflects the growth of campus resources and support systems dedicated to serving students of diverse gender and sexual identities on campus, with particular attention to women, femmes, trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming students. This program maintains its foundational ties to the original purpose of the Women Peer Counselor (WPC) Program, a student initiative dating back to the 1980s revolving around student support on timely issues pertaining to gender and sexism on campus.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) Peer Counselors support the missions and work of the LGBTQ Center and the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender while working within a cohort model to create supportive community-building opportunities for students around issues pertaining to women, gender, and sexuality that are important for their academic and personal success. WGS Peer Counselors work collaboratively to lead events and programs that intentionally center gender and sexuality, facilitate conversations on topical issues, and help connect students to resources and programs on campus pertaining to gender and sexuality. WGS Peer Counselors gain foundational knowledge around diverse gender and sexual identities on campus, with particular attention to women, femmes, trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming students, and are knowledgeable of appropriate campus resources in order to make referrals, when needed.
Learn more about the WGS PC Program (including open hours and programs).
Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income (U-FLi) Peer Counselors
The Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income (U-FLi) Peer Counselors foster the holistic success of all U-FLi students by leading, coordinating, and facilitating programs and events that enhance their social and educational experiences. To this end, U-FLi Peer Counselors provide general peer advising and mentoring to students that equips them with the tools to successfully navigate their academics, campus resources, and social life at Brown. Additionally, U-FLi Peer Counselors cultivate a sense of belonging and connection among U-FLi students through a series of community enrichment activities and events. U-FLi Peer Counselors also gain a deeper understanding of the structural inequities related to class, immigration, and educational access to inform and create asset-driven opportunities for personal growth and identity development for other U-FLi students. The projects carried out by the cohort of U-FLi PC’s are guided by an equity asset-based lens and propel the overall mission of the U-FLi Center.
Students can learn more about this year’s U-FLi Peer Counselors on the center’s Instagram feed.