Conservatory Establishes OA4 Mentorship Program

The Oberlin Alumni Association of African Ancestry, also known as OA4, is a branch of the Alumni Association founded to establish and maintain a relationship between African American alumni and current students of Oberlin College and Conservatory. The OA4 and Oberlin Conservatory launched a mentorship program this academic year to provide participants with guidance from Oberlin alumni.

The program’s inception is the result of the Presidential Initiative charge that President Carmen Twillie Ambar announced Aug. 28, 2020. In the Presidential Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity document published May 2022, the goal of the OA4 Mentorship Program is described as follows: 

To more effectively support students during their time at Oberlin and as they prepare to launch into careers post-graduation, the Conservatory will launch a new student-alumni mentorship program in 2022. Developed and run in partnership with the Oberlin Alumni Association of African Ancestry (OA4), this program will pair OA4 mentors with mentees who are Conservatory students who identify as being of African ancestry and/or students who are committed to supporting and advancing the study of Black music.

Every alum mentor is expected to provide social, emotional, and career support for their mentee over the course of at least four meetings per semester, either in person or over Zoom. The connection established through this program between each student and their alum mentor works to potentially open up valuable professional opportunities and performance engagements for students.