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Umoja (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a learning community dedicated to African Americans and other students' academic success, personal growth, and self-actualization. African and African American intellectual, cultural, and spiritual gifts inspire all Umoja values and practices.

Click here to learn more: Umoja Practices

What are the benefits of participating in AVC's Umoja Scholars program?

  • Access to priority registration
  • English courses that focus on the African American experience
  • Support from Umoja counselors who help plan your academic pathway
  • Professional mentorship
  • Transfer Guidance: Personal essays, letters of recommendation, scholarships, etc.
  • Motivational, cultural, and career workshops/activities
  • Community engagement
  • Participation in Umoja state-wide events

Program Requirements

  • Attend Umoja Orientation - online (for more information see below)
  • Meet with a Umoja counselor once a semester
  • Attend at least two Umoja events per semester
  • If you are a first-time student, we highly encourage you to take a designated Umoja course (see below)

Application Process

  1. Complete Umoja Scholars Interest Form
  2. After you have completed the interest form, you will be contacted by one of the Umoja Coordinators with more information about the Umoja Orientation

For more information or questions, please email avcumoja@avc.edu

Kristal Ibrahim

Umoja Co-Coordinator/ Counselor


Vejea Jennings

Umoja Co-Coordinator/ English Instructor


Towana Catley

Umoja Counselor


May Sanicolas

Umoja Counselor


Golden Hicks

Student Equity Program Specialist


Vanessa Escobar

Interim Director of Student Equity



Complete Umoja Orientation at any time, online

Step 1

Sign in to your myAVC account.

Step 2

Watch the Umoja Online Orientation (just under 24 minutes):


Step 3

Complete the Umoja Online Orientation Quiz:


The quiz is required for students who view the AVC Umoja Orientation online. A minimum score of 70% must be achieved to satisfy the annual Umoja Orientation requirement. If you score below 70%, please retake the quiz until you score 70% or higher.

You can take the quiz as many times as you need to - without penalty - in order to achieve a score of 70% or higher :)

Step 4 (last step!)

Fill out the Umoja Commitment Form:


After completing all four of the steps above, keep an eye on your @students.avc.edu inbox.

There, you'll receive email correspondence in the coming days letting you know when you've been admitted to the AVC Umoja program, and when you've been added to the Umoja Canvas shell.


For in-person options, contact Umoja Co-Coordinators

English 101 with Prof. Vejea Jennings

  • CRN 70580 |  TR  | 11 am - 12:20 pm | SH 219
  • CRN 71776 | MW |  12:30 pm - 1:50 pm | SH 219

Human Development 101 with Prof. Kristal Ibrahim

  • CRN 72108 | MW | 10:15 am - 12:20 am | YH 1070 I
Umoja Porch Talks (every last Wednesday) | 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | Umoja Village
Sharing stories and traditions, passing down knowledge, and simply spending time together as a community has been a long-standing tradition throughout history. One place where this has often taken place is on the porch. The porch provides a space that is not quite inside the home, yet not fully outside either. It's a middle ground that allows for casual conversations with neighbors as they walk by. This creates a warm and welcoming environment that fosters a greater sense of community and connectedness.


Umoja Porch Talks are student-led conversations that create connection and build on community knowledge. By participating in Umoja's Porch Talks, we can all contribute to building a stronger community together. Join us for Umoja Porch Talks every 4th Wednesday at the Umoja Village!

  • August 30
  • September 27
  • October 25
  • November 29


Movies in Color (every 3rd Thursday) | 1 PM - 3 PM | Umoja Village

Join us for our film series highlighting Black filmmakers and actors. We're excited to showcase the work of talented artists and creators who have made a significant impact on the film industry. Come and experience the power of storytelling through the lens of these groundbreaking filmmakers and actors. We can't wait to see you there!
  • September 21
  • October 19
  • November 16

The InkWell Workshops (Every 2nd Wednesday) | 3 PM - 4 PM | Umoja Village

Join us at The InkWell, a supportive space for writers and artists to connect and build community. Here, storytellers are empowered to craft authentic narratives that affirm their unique experiences. Whether you prefer poetry, spoken word, performance, non-fiction, or fiction writing, choose your medium of storytelling and become a part of our community of like-minded creatives. Discover your voice and share your story with us at The InkWell.
  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 8
Student Equity Speaker Series
  • Rosa Clemente,  “Can’t Stop Our Blackness – Black and Latinx Narrative and Resisting Erasure” - Sept. 22
  • Dr. Angela Davis, “On Education and Social Justice” - Oct. 5
  • Dr. Andrew Jolivette, “Reweaving the Broken Ties: Native, African and Indigenous Decolonization as a Human Right in the 21st Century” - Nov. 3
  • Dolores Huerta, Weaving Movements Together: Immigration, Environment, Labor, Woman's Rights, and LGBT Equality." - Nov. 17
Critical Clapbacks (Scheduled Mondays after each SE Speaker) | 2 PM - 3 PM
We invite you to join our discussion group that explores major themes discussed by the Student Equity Speaker Series speakers. Our goal is to gain a deeper understanding of their ideas and their application to current societal issues. We look forward to engaging with you and learning from your perspectives.
  • September 25
  • October 9
  • November 6

Our agreement guarantees admission to 39 Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)

Transfer Advantages:

  • Acceptance of completed transfer-level community college courses
  • A free single application for up to four participating partner HBCU institutions
  • A simplified transfer process
  • Priority registration for housing when application is submitted by the posted deadline
  • Pre-admission advisement
  • Consideration for transfer scholarships if you have a 3.2 or higher GPA (based on funding availability)

For more information, please visit: https://www.californiacommunitycollegehbcutransfer.com