Umoja Conference XIX Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals 

Umoja Conference XIX | November 2 - 4, 2023

Download a copy of the Call for Proposal

The Umoja XIX Conference is currently accepting proposals for indaba (workshop) sessions that further Umoja’s mission of enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American students and others.  We seek proposals that motivate, inspire, and provide insight and resources for students to deepen their development individually, academically, and professionally. 

Proposal submissions may only be submitted via the online submission form. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION LINK  


Become an integral part of the Umoja XIX Conference. The success of this Umoja Community Education Foundation annual event relies on you and organizations such as yours to provide the platform for insightful and empowering discussions and collaboration between students, counselors, educators, and community members. We welcome proposals from Umoja Scholars, Coordinators, Faculty, and Community members at large. 

Umoja serves:  

  • As a leader in providing equity-focused training for students, faculty, and staff across California and beyond. 
  • As a program for under-resourced students to achieve their dreams of higher education attainment.  
  • As a partner with other institutions to provide a defined academic pathway for students to transfer from community college to four-year institutions.  
  • As an avenue for discovery and exploration of African-American cultural manifestations in higher education. 

Conference Details 

  • Date: November 2 - 4, 2023
  • Expected Conference Attendees: 800+ 

Conference Goals: 

  • Community Building/ Communal Intelligence: In Umoja, we are unified by our intelligence, and we seek opportunities to fellowship through scholarship, leadership, critical dialogue, reflection, and action. At the conference, we will cultivate and harvest the intellectual, social, and cultural capital within our Umoja Community as students, practitioners, and community members lead critical conversations and indabas (workshops). 

  • Acceleration: The African proverb reads that “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In Umoja, we are seeking new ideas and methods that will allow us to go farther and faster, together. At the conference, we will examine ways to positively impact student success in their college and dream careers. 

  • Intentional and Deliberate: “In Umoja we deeply value intentional and deliberate purposefulness.” The theme of this year’s conference encourages us to take an active role in constructing our future. Every aspect of our conference, including discussions around student activism, career pathways, data storytelling, and identity, intentionally connects to our theme as we take a deliberate hand in crafting our future. 

  • Tapping African American Intellectual, Spiritual, and Artistic Voices: In Umoja, we practice the fine art of reaching back to retrieve ideas and foundations gifted by diverse thinkers, leaders, and artists of the African diaspora and fusing them with new ideas that will grow our foundations and move us forward. We know this fine art as Sankofa, and we’ll refer to it as we map out our future. 

Session types:   

The presenter can determine the presentation format; however, we encourage you to choose a presentation that engages and educates the participants.  As you create your session content, consider the 8 Effective Practices for Creating Engaging and Inclusive Workshops/Indabas.   We are accepting proposals in the following format:  


The purpose of the proposal submission process is to identify presenters with interest, passion, and expertise on a selected topic. Sessions that focus on organizing, connecting, motivating, or guiding students in professional, cultural, academic, or personal development are highly encouraged!  

All are welcome to submit a proposal for an Indaba Session 

For your submission you will select one of the following formats. 

  • 90-minutes Interactive Indaba. Bring on the evidence-based findings and the transformational programming ideas! The 90 minutes interactive workshop should be layered with engagement and information, and the content should have key takeaways that participants can apply to their own context and setting.   

  • 60-minutes Critical Idea Talks. Critically examine and deliberate on pathways to emancipatory education. Share your findings in a brief yet powerful and creative presentation that inspires and transforms.  


It is important for our Umoja Scholars to develop their academic, civic, and leadership competencies to support their lifetime goals and outcomes. The Umoja community recognizes the importance of identifying, supporting, and uplifting scholarly activities shared by Umoja scholars.  Umoja Scholars are invited to present their academic, professional, or community-based work to accelerate their skills and confidence as an Umoja Practitioner. Umoja Students who plan to present their scholarship should identify a mentor or Jegna to support them as they prepare for their presentation or facilitation. 

Umoja Student Scholarship Submissions are limited to current and alum Umoja Scholars. 

For your submission, you will select one of the following formats. 

  • 30-minutes Share outs. The 30-minute engaging talks should inform and provide reflections on your academic, professional, or community-based participation and how it has/will impact your goals. 

  • Community Poster Session. Do you have an idea or research topic you want to present to the community for feedback or exploration? Share your voice in a brief yet powerful and creative poster presentation that inspires and transforms. 

Fee: There will be no honorarium or reimbursement for the presentation. The selected presenters will receive a discounted registration rate. All presenters must register for the conference. We encourage you to register now.  

Important Dates 

Call for Proposal

Monday, May 1, 2023

Proposal Submission Deadline

Friday, September 29, 2023

Notification of Status

Friday, October 6, 2023

Presenter Acceptance and Email Confirmation

Friday, October 12, 2023

Final Presentation Document Submission Deadline

Monday, October 27, 2023

Questions: For questions regarding the proposal submission process, please contact

Proposal Submission Details 

Proposal Submissions 

The purpose of the proposal submission process is to identify presenters with interest, passion, and expertise on a selected topic.  Sessions that focus on student professional development, effective practices that uplift cultural pedagogy responsive to the legacy of the African diasporas, increasing access and transferring to 4-year institutions, exploration of career and technical careers, and sharing the impact of the Umoja program and community are encouraged. 

All proposals will be evaluated by our program committee based on content, level of engagement, and relevancy to one of the workshop strands below. Proposal submissions will only be accepted by submitting through this link. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION LINK  

You will need the following information to submit a proposal: 

  1. Lead presenter name 
  2. Lead presenter biographical information that briefly highlights their expertise.
    • For Student Scholars biographical information that highlight academic and career successes and aspirations. 
  3. (For Student Scholars Track you will provide mentor/Jegna Information) Co-present(s) name 
  4. (For Student Scholars Track you will provide mentor/Jegna Information) Co- presenter biographical information that briefly highlights their expertise. 
  5. Company/college affiliation 
  6. Contact information (email and telephone) 
  7. Indaba Strands (must align with one of the indaba strands) 
  8. Select your Session type (90-minutes workshop; 60- minutes critical talk; 30- minutes Share out; Community Poster Session) 
  9. Presentation Title (should excite and inspire the audience in under 15 words) 
  10. Session Description: (max 200 words) that includes a short statement on how your session is aligned to the Umoja Practices   Read the Umoja Practices 
  11. List 2 key learning objectives: What will the audience learn? How will they be transformed? 
  12. (OPTIONAL for Student Scholars Track) Data:  Summarize the qualitative and/or quantitative data that informs and supports your presentation? 


Indabas, in traditional African culture, are gatherings to discuss issues that affect us all.  Indabas are where everyone is invited to the table and has a voice.  It is where the experiences and stories told encourage us to share and act when we walk away from the gathering and back to our communities.   All proposals should uplift the Umoja mission and vision by being aligned with one of the three Indaba Strands for this year’s conference: 


The Umoja Community integrates leadership training and opportunities for our students. Programs across the state support student leadership groups. The student leaders of the Umoja Community consistently enact a broad range of initiatives and activities on their campuses to build community and foster student success. These indabas will focus on how student leaders are developing themselves and the activities and strategies they are using to make an impact on their campuses and in their communities. 

Indabas examples include: 

  • Uplifting student voices to inform campus, community, state, national, and global decision making 
  • Student-led campus projects and initiatives that support and strengthen the community 
  • Student research proposals that look critically at the complex intersections of gender, race, and culture and its impact on Black student success.  
  • Leadership experiences that support spaces for students to grow, learn, and build community 

Umoja Student Scholarship examples include: 

  • Getting into leadership positions on campus 
  • Participating in community-based initiatives 
  • Recommending a strategy or resolution for an identified campus or community concern. 


African American/Black students often endure challenges because of being seen only through a stereotypical lens of their multiple identities of race, gender, and culture. Umoja strives to shatter the misconceptions of Black student scholarship by utilizing cultural imperatives that highlight excellence through African centered practices. This grounding provides a cultural safety net that allows students to flourish. Critical conversation workshops should highlight the ways in which one’s multi-faceted identity may be different yet can be reimagined and internalized as a catapult for student success. Critical conversation workshops may also raise policy, classroom and environmental strategies that must be addressed to advance, sustain, and uplift academic engagement and achievement. 

Indabas examples include: 

  • Strategies that helped campus leaders respond to opportunities and challenges due to the global pandemic 
  • Programs, services, and strategies that assist students with basic needs to keep them in school or help them return to school  
  • Programs that address the needs of student populations within the Umoja Community, for example former foster students and formerly incarcerated students 

Umoja Student Scholarship examples include: 

  • Proposing research around race, gender, and identity 
  • Interpreting and summarizing work (book, video, movies, music) informing your view of race, gender, and identity 


Umoja programming is holistic and aims to prepare students for success in life regardless of major or academic goal. Today’s workforce is global, dependent upon technology and is innovating at a speed that surpasses most of our educational systems. In these sessions, presenters will engage participants in the connection between academic majors and career preparation and will explore the many variations of success.  Innovators, visionaries, and community leaders, as well as career technical and workforce development practitioners, are invited to apply to this strand to help Umoja Community and Umoja students prepare for tomorrow. 

Indabas examples include: 

  • Academic programs for K-12 students and recent high school graduates, such as dual or concurrent enrollment efforts, middle/early college programs, career and college planning initiatives, bridge programs, etc. 
  • Intersegmental partnerships with baccalaureate-level institutions, including the California State University (CSU), University of California (UC) systems, and/or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) that have a shared responsibility for increasing transfer and providing support for transferred Umoja students  
  • Career Tech Education (CTE) programs and initiatives that connect students to employers as well as career exploration and experiential learning opportunities for workforce development and academic pathways to certificates, degrees, and/or transfer 
  • Partnerships with community organizations aligned to Umoja’s mission and vision 
  • Integrated planning efforts that connect Umoja’s work to the Vision for Success and other statewide and/or campus initiatives 

Umoja Student Scholarship examples include: 

  • Navigating university life as a transfer 
  • Integrating Umoja practices into your academic, career, and life activities 
  • Sharing of internship/career/entrepreneurial experiences 
  • Sharing information about your academic experience in a CTE program 

The proposal will only be accepted via this link: PROPOSAL SUBMISSION LINK  


The following criteria are used by the Umoja Conference Curriculum Committee to evaluate proposals for each Indaba track. Successful proposals strive for demonstrated excellence under all the criteria.  During the review of proposals, committee members will score proposals on a 1-10 ranking in each of these 5 categories.  Proposals are graded with both a total score and a score for each section.  Committee members can also share comments/questions on the proposals.  These scores greatly influence but are not used exclusively to make decisions on proposals.  


  1. Umoja as a Power Base: Umoja Alignment 

The proposal demonstrates a connection to the mission, core values, and practices of Umoja. Alignment is intentional and clearly stated. Examples of ways to connect include demonstrating, exploring, remembering, advancing, critiquing, etc. 

  1. Intentional and Deliberate: Learning Outcomes  

Proposal has clearly defined learning outcomes that can be understood by non-experts. The way objectives are stated makes them easily measurable. Objectives can reasonably be achieved within the available timeline. Write your outcomes by answering the question: “What will participants be able to do once they attend the session?” 

  1. Community Building Communal Intelligence: Best and Promising Practices and Strategies   

The proposal highlights best and promising practices, innovative techniques and/or effective methods for promoting engaged student learning in higher education settings.  Rationale for the proposal is clearly explained and aligns with the learning outcomes.  Provide your rationale by answering the question: What could be the impact of implement the practices and strategies?  

  1. Live - Learning: Participant Engagement  

The proposed method for engaging audience participants is thoughtful, intentional, and appropriate for the session type. The proposed presentation includes approaches and strategies that can be implemented across disciplines, institutions, and/or communities. Examples of ways to engage in live learning include discussions, small group activities, role playing, games, demonstrations, practice activities, reflections, etc.  

  1. Language as Power: Written Clarity of Proposal 

The proposal abstract (which will be included in the conference program) is well written. The clarity of the proposal is an indicator of presentation quality.  It is recommended that you write out and review your submission elements before submitting on the website. 



Publish Date: 
Friday, August 25, 2023

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About Us

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.