Black Excellence Month February 2024
Join the Umoja Community by becoming an Umoja Scholar or joining the Umoja Club!
Spring 2024

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay-Scholarship Now Open !

Tony Hill Scholarship Now Open !

Spring 2024

Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30-10:50 AM

Spring 2024

Tuesdays 9:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Thursdays 9:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Spring 2024
Learning Community

Celebrates Community, Culture, and Success

What is Umoja Community?

Umoja is a learning community dedicated to the academic success, personal growth, and self-actualization of Cabrillo College students. Umoja enhances your educational experience by integrating academics, support services, African-American and Pan African culture. We aim to educate the whole student as our Umoja family helps you to navigate the college environment and become successful in your educational goals.

Cabrillo's Umoja Learning Community is a program designed to assist African American and other historically underrepresented students. We specifically aim to increase the retention, success, graduation, and transfer rates of African ancestry students.

As a member of the Umoja Community you will receive integrated instruction and student services; course clustering for program participants; individualized educational planning; personal counseling; mentoring; academic tutoring; conference attendance; various academic enrichment workshops

Contact Us
English Faculty
Student Support Coordinator, Umoja Learning Community,
Charlie L. Morales
Umoja | Athletics Academic Counselor
  • Cabrillo Umoja Scholars Programs
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    Mission Statement

    Umoja, (a Kiswahili word meaning unity)

    Umoja is a community and critical resource dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. We believe that when the voices and histories of students are deliberately and intentionally recognized, the opportunity for self-efficacy emerges and a foundation is formed for academic success. Umoja actively serves and promotes student success for all students through a curriculum and pedagogy responsive to the legacy of the African and African American Diasporas.

    Learn More ▼
    • Enroll in a minimum of three (3) units each semester

    • Attend an Umoja Program Orientation and end of the academic year event

    • Meet a minimum of two times a semester with the Umoja Academic Counselor and complete an appropriate educational plan

    • Enroll in English, Career & Guidance courses, attend a minimum of two (2) cultural events/field trips and/or Umoja Student Life Club sponsored activities each semester.

    • Participate with Amplify Student Voices; Podcast

    • Complete Financial Aid FAFSA Application


    Enhance your student experience by participating in the Umoja Club

    Joining the Umoja Club is an easy way to enhance your college experience while building long lasting networks and community.

    The Umoja Community has two ways that you can join! You can be a Umoja Scholar or a Umoja Club Member.

    Benefits of joining the Umoja Club

    · Deeper understanding of African American culture and experiences

    · Opportunities to attend Umoja-sponsored conferences and events

    · Community Service Opportunities

    · Access to Umoja Community scholarships

    · Increased self-confidence

    · Positive relationships with other Umoja Community peers

    · Dedicated Umoja Academic Counselor

    · College Field Trips (CSU, UC, HBCU, etc.)

    · Cultural Activities and Workshops

    Early in the development of the Umoja Community, a group of faculty created a collection of pedagogical, communication, and cultural practices that represent a shared wisdom in language that resonated with the African American community. The Umoja Practices© weave together into a multi-colored fabric of community and connection. That fabric stretches to include students’ and educators’ lives at college campuses and beyond and are the foundation for all the Umoja Community affiliated colleges. These practices are the foundation of the Affiliated College programs on California Community Colleges.



    The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay-Scholarship began in 2004, sponsored by George Ow Jr. in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. and of Ow's commissioned sculpture of the King by Barrington McLean, the first African American faculty member of Cabrillo College. Dr. King, one of the most prominent civil rights leaders of all time, espoused social justice, nonviolence, and human rights activism. He dreamed of an equitable society wherein all people are treated with dignity and respect. His vision and philosophy, that individuals should not be judged by the color of their skin, sex, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or class,; but by the content of their character, maintains relevant today. All students are encouraged to apply for this scholarship.

    The Tony Hill Memorial Scholarship was established in 2010 to support Cabrillo College students, primarily students of color. Tony Hill was a prominent community activist and treasured mentor who passed away in 2007. He was an inspirational leader, gifted mediator, and bridge-builder in our community. Tony worked tirelessly for social and economic justice, education, housing, and jobs for African Americans. He dedicated his life to championing the plight of the poor and often marginalized in Santa Cruz County. Cabrillo students who submit an application and essay for the MLK Scholarship will also be eligible for the $500 Tony Hill Memorial Scholarship. For more information on how to apply visit the Cabrillo the Financial Aid scholarship opportunities database.

    George Floyd Memorial Scholarship

    People in this county, this state, this country, and beyond have previously gathered to protest the murder of George Floyd and others by agents of law enforcement. These efforts have also brought attention to the disparities of opportunity and access experienced by black and brown communities, the prevalence of institutionalized racist policies, and the lack of positive representation of African American history, culture, and identity both nationally and locally. Because we are working actively against systemic racism and racial inequality, this scholarship is for a student who is committed to anti-racism and social justice in order to create a stronger and more equitable society.


    We are pleased to introduce our new tenure-track Umoja/ Athletic Counselor, Charlie L Morales, M.Ed. Charlie is a first-generation, Salvadorian college graduate that grew up in San Francisco. He earned his Associate degree (Real Estate) from City College of San Francisco, Bachelors degree(Ethnic Studies) from UC San Diego, and Masters degree (Educational Counseling) from University of Southern California. Since then, he has worked at ten Higher Educational Institutions in a variety of counseling roles that include Athletics, EOPS, General, Herman@s C2C, Next Up, and Promise Scholars. He is ecstatic to collaborate across departments to build the Umoja program and serve Student-Athlete’s at Cabrillo College.

    Whenever he is not counseling students, you can find him on the basketball court shooting hoops, attending sporting events, dancing salsa, volunteering in the community, or traveling the world.

    Reach out to him here: or 510-936-2144

    What Does Umoja Mean To You?

    Hear it straight from our students and faculty!

    Umoja Village
    Meet your Umoja Village Family

    Umoja is the preeminent global educational organization that provides transformative, emancipatory education to uplift and inspire academic excellence of self-actualization for students of African descent.

    English Faculty, Umoja Faculty Lead
    (951) 254-3651
    Send a Message
    Student Support Coordinator, Umoja Learning Community,
    (831) 479-6219
    Send a Message
    Student Life and Welcome Services, Director
    (831) 477-3366
    Send a Message
    Vice President, Student Services
    (831) 479-6527
    Send a Message