By: Christina Torrealba (she/her), Graduate Student in Community Health and Epidemiology
Mary Lukindo, PLANS (Promoting Leadership in health in African Nova Scotians) Program Assistant and soon-to-be-graduated medical sciences student at Dalhousie, has always been passionate about community and bringing people together. “This has blossomed into my interest in public health, which has given me the chance to be involved in research and different projects within my community,” Mary says.
I especially love all the opportunities I have gotten to meet, support and work with students in university and high school. It has made me quite hopeful for the future of Black health.
As the PLANS Program Assistant, Mary has enjoyed supporting the programming and events that PLANS offers. “I especially love all the opportunities I have gotten to meet, support and work with students in university and high school,” she says, “it has made me quite hopeful for the future of Black health.” Mary is excited to bring back student groups that foster connections with university students. “I am also excited for our summer programming: from summer camps to supporting medical school applicants,” she says.
I am also excited for our summer programming: from summer camps to supporting medical school applicants.
In addition to her work with PLANS, Mary is also engaged in research at Dalhousie. She was recently interviewed by CBC about a research project that she was a part of, which documents the experiences of caregivers of African descent in caring for their friends or family members with dementia in community based settings. “It was such an enlightening experience hearing the experience of these caregivers and the systemic barriers they experienced during COVID but even before COVID,” Mary says, “this project highlighted the work needed to understand and support the care needs of the Black community, to take them out of the margins and make them part of the health system.”
On top of her studies, research projects, and work with PLANS, Mary enjoys being creative; she likes making music and braiding, and is currently learning how to crochet. “I have also had the chance to be creative in my research in adolescent menstrual poverty by conducting my research online and using social media as our dissemination tool,” Mary says. You can learn more about this menstrual resource on Instagram (@for.teens.period).
PLANS has a number of upcoming events that you should check out, including the PLANS Celebration of Excellence, Health Science Camp, PLANS Prep Institute, and more! To learn more about PLANS, visit our website or send Mary and the team an email at PLANS@dal.ca.