Umoja Advisory Committee

Purpose:  Umoja, (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a community and critical resource dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. We believe that when the voices and histories of students are deliberately and intentionally recognized, the opportunity for self-efficacy emerges and a foundation is formed for academic success. Umoja actively serves and promotes student success for all students through a curriculum and pedagogy responsive to the legacy of the African and African American Diasporas.

Vision Statement:  To transform, enrich and advance the lives of students by infusing culturally relevant pedagogy and practices.

Scope: Meets year-round as needed in order to fulfill purpose. Scope includes planning and execution of the following:

  • Indaba (Deep Discussions), hosted by Umoja faculty
  • Study Vibe tutoring (one-to-one tutoring with success coaches in all subject areas)
  • Umoja Queens Talks & Umoja Kings Talks (intentional and deliberate talks for the purpose of healing dialogue and communal trust)
  • Celebration of African American/Black Graduates
  • Kwanzaa Celebration
  • Black History Month events
  • A2Mend Program
  • Hip Hop Studies Summit
  • Facilitating fieldtrips (both cultural and historical) so that students can engage with influential places, people, and texts
  • Facilitating other student-led and faculty-led opportunities that facilitate healthy dialogue, a greater sense of belonging, and community building


Reports to: Faculty Senate

Terms of Office: Suggested 2-year commitment.

Tri-Chairs: Michael McClellan, Management

Adam Martinez, English
Ariel Sales, Research Analyst
Brent McLaren, Counseling
Charles Williams, English
Corinthia Crawford, Financial Aid Program Assistant
Dominique Johnson, Counseling
Donald Essex, DPS Counseling
Emilie Koenig, English
Jean Oh, DPS Counseling
Kenyon Callahan, Political Science
La Quirshia Fennell, Counseling
Omar Dphrepaulezz, History
PaulaE George, Systems Specialist
Tara Johnson, Fashion Design/Fashion Merchandising