Hekima Scholars Program

A page within Diversity & Inclusion

Hekima in the Swahili language means


About the course

Hekima Scholars Program was developed in 2018 to address the educational barriers facing young Men of Color at UWL. This is accomplished by forming the circle of wisdom. Men of Color speak with Hekima Scholars, give advise encourage them and share their own experiences navigating higher education. 

This is a 1-credit course taught by a staff member from the Division of Diversity & Inclusion, specifically the Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS). 

This is a cohort program based with 10-12 students, 1 instructor and either 1 or 2 mentors (1 graduate student and 1 undergraduate student).

Meet the Hekima Program Director


Jose Rubio-Zepeda


The Hekima Scholars Program provides the exploration of social and identity development to first-and-second year men of color at UWL.  The program fosters a sense of community and connection between scholars with the goal of creating a sense of belonging. Scholars have the opportunity to engage in deep and meaningful conversations about what it means to be a man of color at a historically white institution (HWI), how to navigate college, and discuss pathways after graduation. 

More about José

Mentoring areas include

  • Identity, social, and leadership development
  • Connection to other men of color in and outside of higher education
  • Exploration of other high-impact practices on campus 
  • Connection to other UWL alumni, staff, and faculty 

You belong

"It reinforced my perspective that we are here for a reason and we should motivate ourselves to push ourselves to do the best we can — even though the odds are set against us."

-Nhia Thao '21