By Steven Adamo
Black History Month at East Los Angeles College began this year with an open house of the ELAC Umoja Community office, designed to assist African-American and Black students with resources available on campus.
Nicole Flores of ELAC Umoja said the Umoja Scholars program offers students an opportunity to develop leadership skills as well as participate in cultural activities as a community.
Umoja offers basic needs such as a food pantry, career and academic counseling, transfer assistance to Historically Black College Universities and four-year institutions, as well as Umoja-sponsored events, workshops and conferences.
The Umoja office, located at F5-323, is called the “Village Space.”
Students involved with ELAC Umoja are encouraged to use the provided computers, or to converse with other students.
Dwayne Walton is a student who just joined Umoja this semester. He said that it’s helpful to have a place like Umoja on campus to learn more about and be a part of African culture.
ELAC Umoja follows 18 principles and practices as guidance in the classroom and larger community:
Awareness of connectedness to African Diaspora
Community: building communal intelligence
Acceleration-English, Math, ESL and counseling
Occupy study spaces on campus
Umoja as a power base
Raising “intentional and deliberate.”
Ethic of love: the affective domain
Umoja counseling: affirming, integrated, intentional
Language as power
Tapping African-American intellectual, spiritual and artistic voices
Awareness of connectedness to African diaspora
Students interested in participating with ELAC Umoja Community are encouraged to contact an Umoja coordinator by filling out an online form at bit.ly/3p9n0id.