The first of the 13 demands that African American students presented to President Asa S. Knowles on May 3, 1968 insisted that ten percent of the class of 1971 be African American. Knowles pledged to assist admitted African American students academically and to provide the necessary financial aid to sustain them at the university.

In 1974, Project Ujima was established under the guidance of the director of the African-American Institute, Gregory T. Ricks. Project Ujima, named for the Swahili word for collective work and responsibility, was created in reaction to the large number of African American students who were poorly prepared for college. The program’s mission was to attract more African Americans to Northeastern and to provide them with an individualized academic support system to help them graduate. Ujima students were involved in reading and study skill courses, mandatory tutorials, and counseling sessions. By 1980, 174 African American students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity for a college education had participated in the project.

Admissions Handbook
Admissions Handbook, c. 1975
Project Ujima brochure