Umoja Black Scholars

Student in Umoja Community

Note: In 2019–20 Umoja will be a Residential Community, which brings together students with a shared identity or interest, but doesn’t have a curricular component. In 2020–21 Umoja Black Scholars will be an Academic Residential Community, see below for details on this community.

What is the Umoja Black Scholars community?

Named after the Swahili word for “unity,” the Umoja community aims to cultivate a sense of belonging for Black students at the University of Oregon. This community was designed to meet the social and academic needs of Black-identified students through fostering an understanding of and respect for Black cultures, identities, and histories. Residents have the opportunity to gain an in-depth awareness of historic and contemporary experiences of Black people through course work, guest lecturers, programs, and community service. 

Why should I choose to live in this community?

The Umoja community will provide resources and support for residents’ social and academic needs. Through a Black studies curriculum, residents 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 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.

Umoja creates a space in the residence halls in which Black students can come together, grow in their own identities, and learn about the diversity of the diaspora by sharing a home with each other. It is also meant to create safety that will allow for Black wellness, community-building, and academic success.

All students who live with Umoja receive support in the above areas of learning, as well as utilizing community resources, navigating campus, decision-making, and leadership development. There are two resident assistants living on the floor with the scholars, who will act as mentors and assist students in their success.  

What courses will we take?

  • UGST 112: ARC seminar
  • HIST 250: African-American History
  • BLST 101: Introduction to Black Studies
  • BLST 199: Black Essay Traditions: Power, Thought, and Resistance
  • ARC-related special studies courses

Location

Residence Hall: Carson Hall

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

For more information, contact umojascholars@uoregon.edu.

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. Apply for University Housing and select the community you prefer in the "Community Preference" section.
  2. Fill out the supplemental questions on your housing application. The program director will be in communication with you over the summer to remind you to fill out the form and determine class placement and details.

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