Ujamaa Residential College

Become part our vibrant community


Our History

Ujamaa Residential College was founded as a result of the 1969 Willard Straight Hall Takeover, a student-led protest which addressed the University's mistreatment of Black students on Cornell's campus. Their demands were met and the Africana Studies and Research Center, the Africana Library and Ujamaa Residential College were all born. The term "Ujamaa" is Kiswahili, roughly meaning collective economics. The name affirms our commitment as a community to pool resources and be participants in each other's fulfillment.

Ujamaa's Mission, Vision, and Motto

By providing a safe, diverse, purposeful living and learning environment aligned with these values, we support student involvement and active citizenship. Through partnerships with university faculty and staff, we foster students’ personal growth, critical thinking, intellectual engagement, and social responsibility. Ujamaa Residential College Team will strive to create an atmosphere in which people from different backgrounds can minimally live happily, but more importantly learn from one another by exploring/expanding: aesthetic, cultural, and intellectual values; autonomy, and independence; increase in tolerance and acquisition of personal peace; empathy, and interpersonal skills; persistence in college; and degree attainment. Understand that we, the Ujamaa residential team foster individuals defining their Blackness and living in their truth.

Ujamaa provides a forum for diversity and unity among all ethnicities, peoples and individuals. The Program House draws upon students, faculty, staff, and members of the Cornell community to provide a unique experience characterized by an accepting, engaging, and fun environment that welcomes all global citizens to share their worldviews.

About Us

Ujamaa is a cultural center where students can learn about the African Diaspora while living with students from various backgrounds. It is characterized by the unique combination of beliefs, values, and social attitudes espoused from its diverse array of community members.

Ujamaa is more than just a hub for Black people. It is a communal place, known for its friendly, open atmosphere. People from all backgrounds make Ujamaa their home.









Our Team

Chayil Hyland
Custom Title Officer
Jade Palmer-Johnson
Abby Priehs
Director of Residential Life
Kath Fenzel
Anneke Darling
Assistant Director
Thoko Nyasulu
Custom Title Officer
LaTivia McCowan
Residence Hall Director
Kelli Williams
Custom Title Officer

E: Ujamaa@cornell.edu

Ujamaa Residential College

68 Sisson Place I
Ithaca New 14850