Student Outreach and Retention Center

Umoja Program

umoja SOAR logo

Our Mission

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.

The Umoja Community at UC Irvine is designed to assist students of African descent in the transition to a four-year university. We offer resources and support to help students set goals, and maximize their experience at UCI to achieve academic, professional, and personal success. The Transfer Student Center staff and counselors will provide individualized support to meet students where they are and support them in their goals and future aspirations.

*The Umoja program at UCI is pending until official designation from the Umoja Community Education Foundation. However, please reach out if you have any questions about resources available to you.

Pilot Program Apps. Closed:

Current Events:

An interactive workshop that is designed to be a place of refuge for Black students

About this event

Black + Mental Health + Matters is a 1.5-hour virtual workshop that is designed to be a place of refuge for Black individuals. Knowing that Black humans in North America face unique and specific barriers to mental wellness, this workshop provides a place for them to be seen and heard, both collectively and individually. Equipping participants with tools to help them heal and thrive, Black + Mental Health + Matters uses creative practices to center and uplift.

While this event centers Black students, all campus community members who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) are invited to attend. However, comments or participation from allies that pull focus away from Black mental health will be respectfully redirected.

[Image description: Birds fly past a yellow sunrise in front of a purple background with teal waves. In the foreground are two Black girls, connected by a single hair braid. One has the scene of a Black Lives Matter protest displayed on her torso, and the other has a woman in a gele among plants on hers.

Eligibilty /How to Join

Must be a Transfer student Admission for Fall 2021 process is pending

Program Benefits

  • One-on-One Advising
  • Mentorship
  • LARC Scholarship
  • SOAR  Scholarship
  • Book Loan/ I-Clicker Loan Program
  • Laptop/Hotspot Loan Program
  • Testing Materials
  • Individualized Workshops and Events
  • Priority Consideration for Housing

Umoja Community members applying for housing in the Arroyo Vista theme house community may want to consider three theme house options that complement the goals of Umoja: George Washington Carver House, Rosa Parks House, and the Academic Excellence Black Scholars House. There is no housing guarantee for fall 2021, but Umoja Community members will be given priority consideration for these houses.


  • She, Her, Hers

    She is currently a 4th Year student at UCI. She transferred in Fall of 2020 and is majoring in Anthropology. Her interests include a deep passion for gaming and really anything related to it. She is looking forward to serving fellow Umoja students transitioning to the university. She plans to establish a space at SOAR for Black/African American UCI students to feel connected to the university.

Nyah E. Beck

Umoja Peer Pathfinder Educator

Program Partners