UC's Racial Awareness Program

UC's Racial Awareness Program - also known as RAPP - works to fight oppression through individual awareness and collective action.

RAPP XXXIV Cohort participants and peer leaders posing in front of a statue outside of the AACRC with their RAPP hoodies on.

RAPP cohort XXXIV participants, peer leaders and staff.

RAPP was created to allow space and structure for students to engage in meaningful intergroup dialogue on issues of social justice - particularly race. Together, and with the guidance of a staff person and peer leaders, students explore race, culture, gender, socioeconomic class, sexuality, and other areas of difference by sharing their experiences and building a community of Bearcats committed to creating a more just community and world.

RAPP is a 9-Month Program

RAPP is a 9-Month committment, so it's pretty intense! But NOT undoable! RAPP's 9-month intensive is designed to cultivate meaningful connection among participants, peer leaders, and the staff while fostering a deeper understanding and commitment to social justice. The time committment of RAPP reflects these intentions.  The intensive consists of several components:

( RAPP 2020-2021 is virtual) 

  • The RAPP Welcome
  • Two RAPP Retreats (one fall, one spring)
  • 10 RAPP Sessions
  • Champions of Social Change Banquet

RAPP members are expected to attend all meetings and retreats for an academic year.  The commitment we ask of each member accepted into the program is that they "commit to being present in body and mind at all meetings and retreats as well as complete short tasks between sessions"  (for example, read a short article, write a brief journal entry). 

Why Join RAPP?

Through full participation in RAPP, you will:

  • Develop relationships with 35+ other Bearcats
  • Enhance their ability to communicate across difference for learning and understanding
  • Deepen their understanding of oppression
  • Develop knowledge and skills to more effectively fight oppression and create inclusive communities
  • RAPP Welcome: October 1, 2020
  • RAPP Fall Retreat: October 16-18, 2020
  • RAPP Sessions, all 5-8pm:
    • October 22, 2020
    • November 5, 2020
    • November 19, 2020
    • December 3, 2020
    • January 21, 2021
    • February 4, 2021
    • February 18, 2021
    • March 4, 2021
    • April 1, 2021
  • RAPP Spring Retreat: March 26-28, 2021
  • Social Change Banquet: April 15, 2021

Our attendance policy requires that you attend all sessions, and if needed, can miss no more than 3 (retreats counting as two sessions). Please see "Considerations Before Applying" for more information.

  • RAPP is a “one-time deal”:  You can only belong to one RAPP group, so if you can only commit to making half of the meetings you are denying yourself and your group a full RAPP experience. You may also miss no more than three sessions (retreats counting as two sessions).
  • RAPP groups bond early and strongly:  The relationships members develop are a key part of the RAPP experience.  Those who report they felt least benefit from RAPP are typically those who didn’t demonstrate commitment to the group by attending meetings and retreats.
  • RAPP plans to be around for many years to come:  If you know you can’t commit fully to RAPP this year, consider becoming involved in other activities or applying for RAPP’s summer Accelerating Racial Justice Institute.
  • RAPP is a structured, accumulative program:  The RAPP process is designed to build upon itself.  For you to develop the skills and knowledge the program works on, you need to be present and engaged.  Research demonstrates that lower participation (missing 1/5 or more of sessions) results in poor development in knowledge, skills, and application of RAPP concepts. You’ve got to be there to get the benefits of the program!
  • RAPP is limited to 35 members per year:  Many years, we have to turn away applicants who’ve completed the application process due to this space restriction.  If you take a spot in a group and do not fulfill the RAPP commitment, you may have prevented another interested person who would have made the commitment from participating that year.
23 RAPP XXXIV students making silly faces in front of Lucy the Bearcat statue
23 RAPP XXXIV students clasping hands together in front of Swift Hall
22 students posing and smiling inside the Lindner Business Building's courtyard
22 students making silly faces in the Lindner Business's courtyard.

Applying To RAPP

We will be opening our application for RAPP XXXVI in Fall 2020. All UC students are invited to apply for RAPP! No previous experience is necessary – RAPP is great for folks who’ve never heard the word “social justice” before as well as those who are already heavily invested in social justice activism.


  • Enrolled at the University of Cincinnati (full- or part-time). Members can be undergraduate, graduate, or non-matriculating students on any UC campus.
  • Enter with and maintain a 2.3 GPA throughout the academic year. To verify your eligibility, you’ll be asked to provide your UC ID number (aka “M-number”) and permission to check your grades on the application form.
  • Ability to attend all sessions, especially the orientation and retreats.

The Application Process

The applications for the 2020-2021 Racial Awareness Program will be open in during Welcome Week 2020!

Please contact Major Cooper for additional information at Major.Cooper@uc.edu or 513-556-1486.