Umoja Black Scholars

Student in Umoja Community

What is the Umoja Black Scholars community?

Umoja (“unity” in Swahili) is a community that aims to cultivate a sense of belonging for incoming Black students at the University of Oregon. This community is designed to meet the social and academic needs of Black students through fostering an understanding of and respect for Black cultures, identities, and histories. This is an inclusive environment that embraces the nuanced and multifaceted lived experiences of being Black in America. Students have the opportunity to gain an in-depth awareness of the historic and contemporary experiences of Black people through course work, guest lecturers, programs, and community engagement. 

Why should I choose to live in this community?

The Umoja community provides resources and support for students’ social and academic needs. Students will become familiar with the evolution of Black history and how that history affects their contemporary experiences and the development of intersecting identities both locally, within Eugene, and globally. Connections between scholarship and experience are further developed through cocurricular programming, which includes seminars, events, guest speakers, and professional development opportunities. This combination of curricular and cocurricular programming is designed to encourage personal exploration and intellectual growth among Umoja scholars, with a goal of nurturing both individual and community empowerment for Black students and communities. The goal is to empower our students with the tools that they need to thrive at a predominantly white institution.

Umoja creates a space in which Black students can come together, grow in their own identities, and learn about the diversity of the diaspora. It is also meant to create belonging that will allow for Black wellness, community-building, and academic success. All students in Umoja receive support in the above areas of learning, as well as utilizing community resources, navigating campus, decision-making, and leadership development.  

What are the community expectations?

  • UGST 112: ARC seminar is required for the entire academic year.
  • Get acquainted and connected with each other as scholars as well as the greater UO Black community.
  • Explore, discuss, and reflect how your own identities and social locations as Black individuals contribute to or challenge your academic work and experiences while attending a historically and predominantly white institution.


Residence Hall: The residential component of Umoja is in Justice Bean Hall. Students living in this community will select roommates who are also in the community.

Please note that communities can be moved to different residence hall buildings if the size or need of the community changes.

Student in Umoja Community

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Who is eligible and how do I apply?

The Umoja Black Scholars ARC is for University of Oregon students who identify as Black. Umoja Scholars must be willing to enroll in the ARC courses, as well as participate in the university’s Undergraduate Research Symposium held during spring term. Students can be of any undergraduate class.

  1. Register for University Housing and select the community you prefer in the "Community Preference" section.
  2. Answer the community questions on your housing registration.

Completed community applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until May 1. Wait lists for communities will close May 15.

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