UNITE works to create an inclusive campus


A table adorned with candles, a Black Lives Matter flag, and messages acknowledging and celebrating the lives of black Americans is set up in the Student Center. (Photo by Katia Esguerra)

Makenna Roy

The Universal Engaging Inclusive Transformative Education Program, or UNITE, at American River College is focused on creating a more inclusive community for the student body.

UNITE is focused on helping create a more comfortable space by participating in community outreach, hosting speakers, holding brave spaces in the wake of tragedies and connecting students with resources they may need — on or off campus.

Due to the announcement that the officers involved in the shooting of Stephon Clark are not facing criminal charges, UNITE members Raven Kauba and Dronme Davis create a window display in the Hub where students can share their thoughts and send their condolences. (Photo by Katia Esguerra)

Raven Kauba, a UNITE member, spoke about the type of impact the organization intends to have on the ARC community.

“[UNITE is] an organization that creates space for people who need it the most, and it doesn’t just vanish. The love we create in one event spreads like a ripple,” Kauba said.

Kauba said having UNITE, or a similar group, on campus can be beneficial for students. UNITE is on campus to help create a better understanding of the experiences that students face daily on campus.

“Serving students of color in an institution that was created to hinder their success is imperative,” Kauba said. “UNITE has brought so many amazing people and experiences into my life, and shown me that community problems need community solutions.”

Dronme Davis, a sociology and African-American studies major, shared why she decided to become a part of the UNITE team and what she plans to take away from the experience.

“I joined UNITE because I felt like it was time for me to find my community and use my voice,” Davis said. “[It] seemed like the perfect opportunity to find my place where I belonged, and let it support me in taking on the task of standing up for myself and what I believed in.”

According to Kauba, UNITE helps create spaces for students where they are able to display their works, such as visual or performing art, through activism-oriented spaces.

“We also are always in the office to connect students to other organizations that we work closely with, such as [Extended Opportunity Programs and Services], counseling or the Pride Center,” Kauba said. “And of course we are always available to chat or listen to a student in need.”

UNITE members Raven Kauba and Dronme Davis work on a poster for a window display in the Hub on March 4. (Photo by Katia Esguerra)

Kauba said that UNITE is able to accomplish its goals towards a more inclusive campus with the help from other groups within the community and groups in the Community and Diversity Center.

“UNITE does what it does because of the people in the community who supported and fought for it,” Kauba said. “Anything we help to accomplish for students of color in the future will happen because we have other amazing organizations on campus who are doing incredible work as well.”

Members of UNITE can be found in the Student Center in the Hub, across from the Center for Leadership and Development, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

If there are direct questions for the UNITE team, Kauba can be found in the UNITE office from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Visit http://www.arc.losrios.edu/UNITE.htm or drop into the UNITE office for event calendars and more information.