Resources for mentors around race, inclusion, & cultural respect

Americans are increasingly battling to dismantle racism and systemic oppression, and our young people are on the front lines fighting for their lives to matter. Mentors are uniquely poised to support youth during this time, but have to enter into relationships with humility, including self-awareness, discovery, and understanding of one’s own context toward bridging differences, cultivating understanding, and sharing power.

Mentors may feel ill-equipped to engage in affirming and supportive relationships with youth, especially as they reflect on the ways in which their own privileges and experiences help or hinder their mentoring relationships with youth of color, and Black youth in particular. MENTOR has compiled our key resources that seek to help mentoring programs and mentors better show up for and with young people. Check them out below.

If you would like to request that MENTOR provide specific training, webinars, or tools on how to talk to mentees about racial inequity, systemic racism, and speaking to the wounds of trauma, please let us know. Contact Minnie Chen with any suggestions or questions you may have.

Read for Context

Read MENTOR’s youth-informed guides for all adults
working with and supporting young people.

View Videos

Tap into youth and practitioners’ insights with
videos from MENTOR-hosted events.


Black Youth Town Hall

In partnership with Youth Mentoring Action Network, MENTOR co-hosted The Black Youth Town Hall, which was a youth-led community dialogue aimed at supporting young people as they process recent events and the state of race relations.


Dr. Wizdom Powell at the 2020 National Mentoring Summit

Dr. Powell speaks to the importance of mentors in the lives of youth who’ve experienced trauma, particularly Black youth.



MENTOR Affiliate Wellness Panel Series

Leading with Intention in the Fight for Racial Justice: MENTOR Affiliate Leaders Look Within the Movement


MENTOR Affiliate Wellness Panel Series

Mentoring Take Two: Leading with Intention in the Fight for Racial Justice

Learn From Online Modules

In partnership with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, MENTOR developed the Essentials training – a training for adults who mentor boys and young men of color. While the training was focused on boys, the topics of race, privilege, social capital, and racial identity are broadly applicable.

Facilitated by Steve Vassor
This virtual training provides a foundational look at race and privilege as it relates to the mentoring relationship. The training will give mentors and mentoring programs processes and tools that allow for reflection into potential biases that may limit success of the mentoring relationship for boys and young men of color.

Facilitated by Steve Vassor
This virtual training focuses on the boy or young man in the mentoring relationship and discusses the importance of social capital and racial identity.

Being culturally respectful and competent is critical to a healthy mentoring relationship. This online module orients mentoring programs and mentors who work with or in American Indian/Alaska Native communities and provides learning opportunities around youth identity and voice.

Watch Recorded Webinars

Dig into research and practice with MENTOR-hosted
webinar conversations and presentations.

In an effort to help programs foster healthy mentoring relationships throughout traumatic experiences, MENTOR developed a guide in collaboration with the Mental Health Association (MHA) of New York and with support from JPMorgan Chase. In this webinar, panelists review the guide and discuss how they’ve adopted its principles in real life.

This webinar covers best practices for designing effective mentoring services for boys and young men of color, from thought leaders and practitioners. Learn from Dr. Bernadette Sanchez, a thought leader on mentoring as it intersects with race and ethnicity, and Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, a mentoring researcher whose Critical Mentoring work emphasizes the value of mentoring as a consciousness-raising social justice intervention, along with mentoring practitioners Tommy McClam of Open Buffalo and Diego Romero of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City.

Mentoring practitioners and researchers believe that “cultural and class tension” can be attributed to lack of proper screening, inadequate cultural competency training, deficit thinking by mentors, and micro-aggressions that play out during the mentor-mentee match. Learn from experts as they provide an overview of research on race, culture, and class in mentoring matches and discuss cultural competency training.

Explore Critical Mentoring

MENTOR has been a champion of the book, Critical Mentoring, by Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, which provides mentors with a new and essential transformational practice that challenges deficit-based notions of protégés, questions their forced adaptation to dominant ideology, counters the marginalization and minoritization of young people of color, and endows them with voice, power and choice to achieve in society while validating their culture and values. Dr. Weiston-Serdan offers training and support to organizations looking to transform practices. Visit for more information. You can also request technical assistance around Critical Mentoring through the National Mentoring Resource Center. To request technical assistance related to critical mentoring or anything described here, visit

What’s Next from MENTOR

Stay tuned for a learning series for mentors working with and
supporting young people of color, hosted by MENTOR and partners.