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Lagunita Court aerial. Credit: Residential and Dining Enterprises

Lagunita: Ujamaa

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Ujamaa House was created as a concept in 1970 with a concentration of Black first-year and upperclassmen students living on East campus, and moved to its current location in 1976. Over the years, this African-American themed dorm has expanded its intellectual focus to include the entire African Diaspora. Their legacy of excellence is fluid and active with frequent speakers and visits by alumni such as college dean and physician, Hilda Hutcherson, actor Sterling K. Brown, writer Brit Bennett, philanthropist and Stanford Board of Trustee Chair, Jeff Raikes, and politician Michael Tubbs.

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Ujamaa focuses on the histories, issues, and cultures of the Black Diaspora. The name comes from the Swahili word for “extended family.” This house prides itself on fostering a sense of belonging for all residents by creating a safe environment for open, honest, and sometimes challenging dialogue. Weekly presentations by upperclass students allow residents to deepen their knowledge and understanding of themselves, their peers, and the world. The breadth and depth of topics ensures that Ujamaa is a true living and learning community. This house encourages intellectual vitality and emotion to collide, which leads to robust conversations filled with uncertainty, realness, and laughter. We hope you will join our family some time during your Stanford career. 

Abstract background of summer color pattern with copy space. Credit: @impusle50, via Freepik

Frequently Asked Questions  

Are all the residents in Ujamaa Black? No, they are not.  Fifty percent of the residents are from the Black Diaspora and the other fifty percent come from other parts of the world.

Is Ujamaa an all-frosh dorm? No, we are not. We are a four class house.  (frosh, soph, junior, senior).

Do upperclass students engage with the frosh? Yes, they definitely do!  Ujamaa has a legacy of upperclass students wanting to live in the house to serve as academic and personal mentors to the frosh.

Neighborhood Location

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Neighborhood R: Lagunita, Roble, Alpha Phi, Xanadu, and apartments in Mirrielees and EVGR-A

Resident Fellows

Jan Barker Alexander. Credit: Sean McKibbon-Ray

Jan Barker Alexander is the Assistant Vice Provost of Student Affairs for the Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership (ECL). In this role, she oversees each of the seven community centers at Stanford – Asian American Activities Center; Black Community Services Center; El Centro Chicano y Latino; The Markaz: Resource Center; Native American Cultural Center; Queer Student Resources; and the Women’s Community Center.

Barker Alexander began her career in the Office of Admissions at Louisiana State University (LSU) reaching out to populations including rural, urban, first-generation and low-income students. She joined Stanford’s Admissions team in 1995 with a similar focus and worked to bring awareness and sensitivity to issues facing students from underrepresented groups. 

In 1998, Barker Alexander joined Student Affairs, where she spearheaded many efforts that have made the University's Black Community Services Center (BCSC) a national model of excellence.  Later, she led, along with an Alumni Leadership Team, the first-ever fundraising campaign focused on affinity giving at the institution and raised close to $1.3 million dollars. 

In 2006, Barker Alexander became the Resident Fellow at Ujamaa House.  She views her role as creating opportunities for greater intellectual discovery outside of the classroom.  In March, she led an Immersive Learning Experience in New Orleans for 22 students.  They examined Mardi Gras through a Black Lens.  

In 2011, Barker Alexander received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education at Stanford. In 2012, The College Board recognized her innovative leadership and multi-faceted approach to molding and shaping the nation’s top scholar activists, with the Asa Hilliard Model of Excellence Award.

Barker Alexander is from a small, rural town in Louisiana.  She received a B.A. in Journalism from LSU and a Master's in Education from Southern University, a Historically Black College and University.  She is currently working on her doctorate at the University of Southern California. She is married to her high school sweetheart Fred Alexander and they have two sons, Hudson (a frosh at Morehouse College) and Armstead (a 7th grader). 

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Ujamaa Theme

Ujamaa focuses on the histories, issues, and cultures of the Black Diaspora.

Ujamaa lounge exterior. Credit: Residential and Dining Enterprises
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For more information about Lagunita Court residences visit the Residential & Dining Enterprises website