About the Book


I began this workbook to use my doctoral research to help Students of Color navigate higher education. Because of my busy schedule, I stopped working on it for months. Spring 2020 changed that. The murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd amid the COVID-19 pandemic (that disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities) had a deep impact on me. These twin traumas left me feeling defeated, depressed, and hopeless about meaningfully transforming racism and other forms of societal oppression in my lifetime. During this pain, I found my way back to this workbook.

Working on this project became a form of self-care. It motivated me to get up each day, helped heal some of my wounds stemming from racism, and provided much-needed encouragement to keep moving forward.
This workbook is designed to help Students of Color attending college and graduate school do the same.

Inside this workbook, you’ll find:

  • Culturally relevant advice from current Students of Color
  • Evidence-based activities to help put their guidance into practice
  • Coloring pages for additional self-care

Nelson O. O. Zounlome, Ph.D.

About the Author

Nelson O. O. Zounlome, is a first-generation college graduate, child of immigrants, and native of South Bend, IN. He is also a former McNair Scholar, Ford Foundation Fellow, Herman B. Wells Graduate Fellow, Counseling Psychologist, and Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky. Nelson earned Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology & Sociology, a Master’s degree in Educational and Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University. He studies academic persistence and mental wellness to promote holistic healing among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Nelson is dedicated to helping BIPOC communities liberate themselves and achieve their wildest dreams.

What People Are Saying

“This is a necessary resource for all BIPOC students. In it, we will find words needed to value ourselves, our diversity, our voices, our efforts, and our resilience.”

– Black woman, Undergraduate Student

“Letters to My Sisters & Brothers is a stunning project providing never before seen insight on navigating [academia]— and as a Black woman at a PWI, I only wish I read this book sooner.”

– Black woman, Undergraduate Student

“Very much needed book… As a woman of color faculty member reading it now, I wished that I had something like this handbook to ground me when I was a graduate student.”

– Asian American woman, Assitant Professor

Follow The Link Below For Other BIPOC Resources!

Check out the list of books from different genres and a range of resources for BIPOC students that we compiled. This list is updated periodically.

BIPOC Resources

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Developing A Graduate School Thrive Mindset

This is a 2-week course designed to help BIPOC students take ownership of their graduate education; thrive in school; save time and money; and launch a meaningful & lucrative career. The Developing A Graduate School Thrive Mindset course includes and expands upon the content in Letters to My Sisters & Brothers with sections on identifying fellowships/awards, creating your own academic and professional goals, and several more.

Graduate School Thrive Mindset Course

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