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Umoja students


Are you an African American student in search of extra academic and financial support, as well as rich, rewarding cultural activities, college transfer opportunities and more? That’s what you’ll find in the Umoja program. Umoja, a Kiswahili word meaning unity, enhances the cultural and educational experiences of California community colleges by serving black students who are educationally and economically disadvantaged. This community and critical resource exists to close the achievement gap.

The program provides:

  • Academic and personal support
  • Resources to transfer to University of California and California State University schools, as well as historically black colleges and universities
  • Culturally-relevant classroom and life experiences, activities and programs to enhance and impact learning
  • Leadership opportunities on campus and in the community


Advantages to being in Umoja include:

  • Individual counseling support
  • Referrals to community and campus resources
  • Student support network
  • Mentoring
  • Student leadership training/opportunities
  • Annual Umoja Community Regional Symposium and Conferences



In order to become an Umoja member, you must complete an Umoja application, meet with an Umoja Counselor and attend at least two events per semester.

Umoja application link
Schedule counseling appointment

Umoja Counselors:

  • Dr. Donna Colondres
  • Brent McCLaren
  • Donald Essex
  • Jean Oh
  • Dominque Johnson
  • La Quirshia Fennell



Dr. Donna Colondres
Professor/Counselor and Umoja coordinator
Tiffany Coleman
Program Assistant/Umoja co-coordinator
Special Population and Equity Programs
(909) 652-6505



“They say that when you have the support of family and loved ones your success comes a bit easier. I feel as though I have another family with Umoja. I can never go wrong because day in and day out they are by my side. I have had many opportunities to interact with my school and do things that I never would have thought of doing before Umoja. I can focus more knowing that I am not in this alone and to make things even better, I am helped and geared for the right path when things get very patchy along the road. I am part of a community that encourages me to use my language as Power, allowing me to tap into my own world where I can use my language to grow and empower my fellow Umoja family members. Umoja has brought me further than I even saw myself and I am forever thankful.”

          - Barbara Ashun – Nursing, Class of  2020  - Transferred to Cal State San Bernardino

“Umoja has really instilled a sense of leadership in myself.  The wonderful people apart of this organization have been so supportive, and have made me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.  Whether that be academically or outside of the classroom.  It's given me a wonderful opportunity to not only leave an impact on my college campus, but also to meet extraordinary people from all backgrounds of the diaspora.”

         - Brandon Washington – Communications, Class of 2020 – Transferred to UCLA

“Being the president of Umoja has allowed me to be more fearless and relentless about the things I want in order to succeed.”-

        -  Joshua Abrams – Political Science, Class of 2020 – Transferred to UCLA

“There is an African proverb that states, "It takes a village to raise a child". Umoja provides a great support system in which my peers as well as coordinators, hold me accountable and keep me on track. With the love and support received from the club, I am filled with the determination to reach academic success. “ 

        - Gabriel Akinmoladun – Biology

“Umoja made me a better student by putting me in positions to where I lead and I don't want to let down the people who are watching me so I push to do my best and show people that they can do anything they put their mind to.”

       -  Anthony Terry – Cinema and Broadcasting


If you're a faculty, staff or community member interested in mentoring Umoja students, please contact us at (909) 652-6505. You will need to fill out our Umoja program mentor application as well.


Events and Activities

Umoja's Queens TalkUmoja's Queens Talk: Women's Empowerment Series

Join us as we create an intimate space for ALL women to gather, network, share resources,
and inspire each other to revive old goals, make new ones, and move toward them in a
safe place both emotionally and mentally. "I am because you are" - Ubuntu, South Africa

For more information please email UmojaAman@chaffey.edu 

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Umoja’s Mid-Year OrientationUmoja’s Mid-Year Orientation

Come and learn:

  • What the Umoja program has to offer
  • What it means to be an Umoja student
  • Who are the Umoja supported Faculty and Staff
  • Former Umoja student graduates experience (Live Student Panel)

There will also be fun activities and opportunities for you to meet other students!

For more information please email UmojaAman@chaffey.edu

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Black Minds Matter Memorial ScholarshipBlack Minds Matter Memorial Scholarship

The Black Minds Matter Memorial Scholarship is designed to be used for the financial support of Chaffey students who are dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. This fund was created in celebration of the limitless genius of Black minds, and in support of the continued movement towards justice for Black lives. This fund is also intended to honor the individuals whose lives have been cut short of their potential, due to centuries of systemic violence and oppression.

For questions please contact: emilie.koenig@chaffey.edu or donna.colondres@chaffey.edu 

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club meetings


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Chaffey College African American Cultural Celebration of graduates


Umoja Team

Dr. Donna Colondres
Professor/Counselor and Umoja coordinator
Tiffany Coleman
Program Assistant/Umoja co-coordinator
Special Population and Equity Programs
Adam Martinez
English Professor
Ariel Sales
Research Analyst
Brent McLaren
Charles Williams
English Professor
Corinthia Crawford
Financial Aid Program Assistant Queens Talk: Women’s Empowerment Facilitator
Dominique Johnson
Donald Essex
Emilie Koenig
English Professor
Kenyon Callahan
Political Science Professor
La Quirshia Fennell
Omar Dphrepaulezz
History/African American Professor
PaulaE George
Systems Specialist
Tara Johnson
Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising Professor