• Building Leaders On Campus

    Making Strong Moves



  • Brotherhood. Community. Unity.

    The World is Our Campus.

  • A Claremont Colleges Organization

    Community & Academics & Social

    BLOC Scholars 100% College Graduation

    BLOC Scholars 100% Matriculation into Professional Degree/Career

    Building Leaders On Campus 2012-2013 in front of Carnegie Hall, Pomona College, Pomona, CA

    2014-2015 BLOC Members

    Bridges Hall of Music

    Pomona College

    Building Leaders On Campus 2012-2013 in front of Carnegie Hall, Pomona College, Pomona, CA

    2016 BLOC Graduating Seniors

    From Left: Charles Minkah, Isaiah Boone, Kwali Liggons, Marcellus Demer, Woodson Powell, Dion Boyd, Jaureese Gaines, Khyle Eastin

    The skills, talents, and aspirations represented here include but aren't limited to; computer languages, several languages other than English; banking & finance, Peace Corps, education, politics, energy consulting, computer science interests and much much more...all in this one picture!

  • Who We Are


    BLOC is a crucial resource for self-identified marginalized—but in no way marginal—students.  BLOC is a supportive extended family at the sometimes-alienating Claremont Colleges.  BLOC is a tight-knit brotherhood; let this be most sacred.  BLOC promotes academic achievement and celebrates members’ successes.  The organization recognizes, takes on, and tries to mitigate hardship as exercises in collective compassion.


    BLOC members hone skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.  Leadership opportunities prepare members for success in their chosen careers and, more importantly, as human beings.  BLOC creates well-rounded programs and strives for excellence and quality in all its undertakings.  Members, both individually and collectively, work toward the advancement of the campus community and broader communities.  In doing so, BLOC contributes to the betterment of each member.


    BLOC harnesses its tight-knit brotherhood to collaborate with other people, groups, and communities.  BLOC hopes to assess the local climate in order to gauge the needs of the underrepresented.  BLOC fosters close partnerships within the 5C community to achieve common goals.  By embarking on these endeavors together, BLOC seeks mediation, reconciliation, and understanding.  Co-curricular activities can be as valuable as the classroom experience; hence, BLOC promotes involvement in all aspects of collegiate life.


  • Founders

    "I am because we are, Yet we are because you & I are."

    Salif Doubare

    Pomona College B.A. '12

    Hometown: Chicago, IL

    Brian Ssembajjwe

    Pomona College B.S. '12

    Hometown: Concord, CA

    Martin Barrera

    Pomona College B.A '13

    Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

    Corey Jacinto

    Pomona College B.A. '14

  • Our Organization


    Active Members


    Graduation Rate

    20+ hours

    Monthly Community Work 

  • 2016-2017 Leadership

    Excellence Through Teamwork

    Errol D Francis, II

    Errol Francis II


    Hometown: Hartford, CT

    College: Pomona College

    Major: Computer Science

    Semassa Boko

    Semassa Boko

    Co-Vice President

    Hometown: Salem-Winston, NC

    College: Pomona College

    Major: (Study Abroad Cameroon)

    Jamarquise Huston

    Co-Vice President

    Hometown: Macon, GA

    College: Pomona College

    Ruben Murray


    Hometown: Paris, Île-de-France

    College: Pomona College

    Cameron Tyus

    Community Engagement Ambassador

    Hometown: Claremont, CA

    College: Pitzer College

    Ivan Soloman


    Hometown: Wilmington, NC

    College: Pomona College

    Christian Gonzalez

    Academic Chair

    College: Pomona College

    Benjamin Higgs

    Academic Chair

    College: Pomona College

    Aaron Sharper

    Academic Chair

    College: Pomona College

    Triston Caviness

    Social Chair

    Hometown: New York, NY

    College: Pitzer College

  • What We Do

    Here is our team in the community.

    Giving Back

    A division of our organization teaching students at Pomona High School effective communication skills

    Jaureese Gaines


    We encourage each and every one of our members and mentees to work together to achieve success.

    Sticking Together

    BLOC maintains unity by hosting events and building strong relationships. 


    of IM Sports

    BLOC wins the 2013-2014 flag football championship. This was the first year the league played under the lights and it was a huge success. With a total of 8 teams, BLOC went 4-1 in the regular season, with their only loss a 19-20 let down in the beginning of the season. BLOC gathered themselves and put up nothing but wins closing out the regular season at 4-1, earning them the #2 seed overall for playoffs. BLOC did not slow down in the payoffs, beating their opponents in route to the championship, snatching it back from defending champions, KGI. Congratulations to BLOC!

    Kwali Liggons, Charles Minkah, Dion Boyd, Darrell Jones III, Gator Adams

    Making #StrongMoves

    From left to right : Kwali Liggons, Charles Minkah, Dion Boyd, Darrell Jones III, Gator Adams

    BLOC Graduates

    Pomona Class 2012

    From left to right: Salif Douabre, John David Nako, Brian Ssembajjwe

    BLOC 14'-15'


    With All People Empowered We Excel!

    BLOC 13'-14


    SAN  (return),

    KO  (go),

    FA (look, seek and take).

    "Always progress but look back at the seeds of wisdom to make the path forward smoother." -Saa

    BLOC & Pomona OEC

    Surfing, 2012

    BLOC Founder 

    ReceIves the 2012 John Payton Award for leadership OBSA

    John Payton ‘73, a renowned civil rights attorney, was the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. As a student at Pomona, he was a founder of the Black Student Union and co-founder of the Black Studies Center. Payton was lead counsel for the University of Michigan in the 2003 landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning diversity in higher education. In 2010, the National Law Journal named Payton to its list of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.” 

    BLOC at Paramount Pictures

    BLOC at Lucille's BBQ


    Alumni Weekend 2016

    Co-Founder Salif Doubare, Dean John Lopes, & BLOC Claremont!

  • Our Projects

    Service Through Leadership

    Mentoring at the high schools in the Pomona Unified School District

    A toy drive for Christmas presents for children at our local hospitals



    Our stand for consent and awareness against sexual assault

    Dinner for the Sistahs

    Our dinner to show our appreciation for the Black women at The Claremont Colleges

    BLOC Party

    A triweekly party at Pomona College for people to relieve stress, be social, feel comfortable, and enjoy music

  • Young Men's Circle

    A BLOC Mentoring Program


    A team of BLOC members travels every Friday to Pomona High School & Ganesha High School in Pomona, CA to mentor students. Founded by Martin Barrera PO '13, this program has developed into a momentous initiative in the Pomona Unified School District. Now led by Marcellus Demer CMC '16 & Jaureese Gaines PO '16, members focus on topics including manhood, responsibility, etiquette, goal-setting, and integrity. Our mentors encourage these high school students to step out of their comfort zone and pursue their passions. Using their own recent high school experience as underrepresented students, mentors are able to give mentees valuable advice and apply lessons learned from their own mistakes. This program is an important part of BLOC's mission to create a positive drive for men of color to keep them on a path to achieve their full potential.

    Campus Visits

    Pomona High students visit the Claremont Colleges and get some Pomona College gear to take back with them.

  • YMC Directors

    Emowering Our Youth

    Martin Barrera


    YMC Founder

    Salif Doubare


    YMC Founder

    Created and led by Paul Knopf & Bernardo Rosa of the Pomona Unified School District, Young Men's Circle served young men from several high schools within the district. However, the program needed the perspective & advice of young men to whom the high school students could directly relate. As the Community Engagement Ambassador for BLOC, Martin, began working with Paul to bring BLOC in as the leaders of the Young Men's Circle program. Martin Barrera and founders of BLOC became the program's first directors & lead a team of 15-20 BLOC members to hold mentoring meetings at Pomona High School weekly to the students struggling most, i.e minority males, their presence in math, science & corporate levels, athletically inclined but academically struggling. BLOC is about fostering and nurturing holistic leaders in all fields.

    Brian Ssembajjwe

    YMC Founder

    Marcellus Demer

    Executive Director (2012-2016)

    Taking over for Martin as director, Marcellus continued and redesigned the program at Pomona High School. He then went on to expand the program to Ganesha High School in Pomona, CA.

    Jaureese Gaines

    Program Executive (2012-2016)

    As Marcellus began working with Ganesha High School, Jaureese took on a significant role at Pomona High School. He has created valuable and relatable lesson plans to teach the mentees.

    Ivan Soloman

    Executive Director (2016-Present)

    Ivan took over as Executive for Marcellus in his sophomore year, running weekly programming logistics for both high schools.

    Jaureese Gaines

    Semassa Boko

    Program Executive (2016-Present)

    Semassa works with Ivan and the high schools in coordination, lesson planning, & discussion leading every week.

    Darien Boyd

    Pomona High School Head Mentor (2016-Present)

    Darien leads the mentoring groups & discussions at Pomona High school every week.

  • Toys for Tots

    Do something; "Stagnation is a problem not a norm"

  • Toys for Tots


    The members of BLOC are very aware of the economic distinction between the students of the Claremont Colleges and the surrounding community. While most of the students are fairly well-to-do, families in the surrounding community struggle to makes ends meet. With this in mind, BLOC created its Toys for Tots program. The Toys for Tots program is a winter toy drive hosted by BLOC that gives the students of the Claremont Colleges the opportunity to donate toys and cash to organizations in the community. With this initiative it was BLOCs aim to brighten the holiday season for families in Pomona, Covina, Upland, and Montclair. During the month of November, members of BLOC sit in dining halls around campus and ask for donations. To date, BLOC has collected upwards of $2500 in toys and funds. All donations have gone to the Citrus Valley Health Partners pediatric unit and in the future, BLOC will be expanding its donations to various women and children’s shelters in the area.

    2015 Toy Drive

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    Check out our latest updates.

  • Full Member List 

    Brian Ssembajjwe PO 2012

    Salif Doubare PO 2012

    Cuy Sheffield PO 2013

    Eugene Cooke PO 2013

    Martin Barrera PO 2013

    Armand Gray PO 2014
    Cristian Monroy PO 2014
    Darrell Jones III PO 2014
    Durrell O'Neal PO 2014
    Eric Martinez PO 2014
    Michael Mei PO 2014
    Nick Gebbia PO 2014
    Olufela Koleoso PO 2014
    Ryan Randle PO 2014
    Titus Vanhook PO 2014
    Zachary Williams PO 2014
    Alex Flores PZ 2015

    Alistair Thompson PO 2015
    Cole Story, PO 2015

    Daniel Ceasar CMC 2015

    Dylan Goodman PO 2015
    Femi Saliu PO 2015

    Joseph Reynolds PO 2015
    Vince Morgan PO 2015

    Wesley Dorneval PO 2015
    Dion Boyd PO 2016
    Harry Manin PO 2016
    Isaiah Boone PO 2016
    Jaureese Gaines PO 2016
    Jonathan Ramsay PO 2016
    Khyle Eastin PO 2016
    Kwali Liggons CMC 2016
    Lucas Brooks GU 2016
    Miles Mundy PO 2016
    Nelson Cole PO 2016
    Woodson Powell PO 2016
    Andikan Archibong PO 2017
    Gator Adams CMC 2017

    Marcellus Demer CMC 2017
    Isaac Soloman PO 2017
    Alan Peck PO 2018

    Alex Thomas PO 2018

    Darien Boyd PO 2018

    Errol Francis II PO 2018

    Benjamin Higgs PO 2018

    Dominic Frempong PO 2018

    Semassa Boko PO 2018

  • If you would like to make a donation, our organization happily accepts them.

    Your contributions go a long way. 

  • Location

  • Contact Us

    We would love to hear from you.