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CSM Umoja is a learning community and transfer support program that focuses on the African American experience through the study of culture, history, literature, and identity.

Umoja (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a community and critical resource designed to enhance the educational experiences of African American and other students. Members of the Umoja Community benefit from wrap-around support, including a dedicated academic counselor, retention specialist, and A&R/Financial Aid contacts. Members of the Umoja Community are also encouraged to attend field trips, workshops, campus visits, and other Umoja events, and Umoja students have access to a dedicated study and hangout space called the Village. 

The Umoja Community also has a cohort-based academic program called Umoja Scholars that pairs English, ethnic studies, counseling, and mathematics in a two-semester program. In the fall, students register for ENGL 105 (Intensive Composition), ETHN 105 (African American History and Culture), and COUN 120 (College and Career Success). In spring, students continue with English 110 (Composition, Literature, and Critical Thinking) and ETHN 122 (Black Leadership Theory). Students are required to enroll in the English and ethnic studies classes concurrently each semester as well as attend out of class field trips and activities as members of the Umoja Scholars cohort.

Contact Us

Frederick Gaines
Umoja Ethnic Studies
(650) 574-6183

Robbie Baden
Umoja English Professor
(650) 574-6685

Jeramy Wallace
Umoja Coordinator
(650) 574-6355

Griselda Paredes
Retention Specialist
(650) 574-6364

Gwendolyn Kenny
Umoja Club Advisor
(650) 574-6151

Kathryn Lige
Personal Counselor
Center for Equity, Leadership and Community Building 17

CSM's Umoja is designed for students who:

  • Are motivated to complete a certificate, associate's degree, or transfer to a four-year college or university
  • Are interested in African and African-American literature, history, and culture

Please complete the online Umoja Application if you are interested in joining the program.

Fall 2022 Tips
Parking, resources, & more!
District & CSM Flex Days
August 15-16, 2022
Fall Classes Begin
August 17, 2022
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