Story cover pageTommy Reed, Umoja Counselor at Chabot College, seeks to create an HBCU-like experience where all community college students feel valued and cared for. He doesn’t stop there; he also seeks through collaborations across the college to bring Umoja practices to non-Umoja spaces. This works to ensure that students feel connected and valued throughout the college. Umoja, “a Kiswahili word meaning unity” according to the Umoja Community’s mission statement, is a program that provides community, instruction, and resources to support the educational experiences of African American students while serving any student who walks through the doors.

Three Umoja practices that Reed has experienced resonate most with both students and faculty at the college: Ethic of Love, The Porch (Porch Talk), and Language as Power. He works with faculty to explore how to incorporate Umoja practices into their classroom practices. In an Umoja classroom, Reed says, there is “energy, dialogue, and excitement” around learning and being in community with one another that is a direct result of the Umoja practices. He encourages instructional faculty and counseling faculty to explore Umoja practices in their interactions with students.