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.

Eligibilty to join the program:

Must be a Transfer student Admission for Fall 2022.

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.

Umoja Peer Educators

  • Nyah Beck

    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 Beck

Umoja Peer Pathfinder Educator

  • She, Her, Hers

    Hi! My name is Kennedi and I am a fourth year Psychological Science Major with a minor in Criminology. I am so excited to be working with Umoja x SOAR to build an enriching experience for Black transfer students at UCI. I enjoy going to concerts/festivals, painting, gaming, and finding new places to explore. If you ever want to catch some sun with me don’t be afraid to reach out!

Kennedi Blackman

Umoja Peer Pathfinder Educator

Current Events:

Program Partners