Ujima Programs

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Collective Work and Collective Responsibility

By Ujima Collective June 12, 2013

Our Programs

Our programs are designed to provide information and education that will enhance the social, cultural and health experience of our constituency. These activities are designed to provide a positive social, cultural and emotional experience for individuals, families and the community.

Program areas: 

Cultural Awareness
Health Education
Community Building
 

 

 

CULTURAL AWARENESS

These programs include a series of ongoing programs and one-time projects that allow communities to share their culture, reinforce cultural practices with children and preserve culutural traditions for the future. Our response to the experience of social isolation and cultural alienation that an absence of faces and voices of people of African descent in the media and  in positions of authority and the lack of public spaces and activities the reflect or acknowledge the culture of people of African descent is to provide opportunities for social interaction and cultural affirmation.

Black History Month Film Fest: Each year during the month designated as Black History month, February, we provide films that are oriented to the experience of people of African descent and allow dialogue regarding these issues.

Community Kwanzaa Celebration: Annual observance of the seven day holiday offers community members a chance to reaffirm the cultural values that strengthen the social fabric and support the culutural traditions of the various national, cultural and ethnic communities of African descent.

HEALTH EDUCATION

The health education activities of Ujima Collective are designed to increase awareness to change behavior to improve conditions experienced by community members. We are not clinicians but we are HEALERS. The medical profession in only now apprehending the significance and understanding the role of social determinants in a healthy life. We believe that our work addressing social isolation and cultural alienation through social interaction and cultural affirmation among people of African descent is "kazi dawa." We heal through being whole.

Project Street Smarts: This activity was conducted as part of a State of New Hampshire Office of Health and Human Services Bureau of Public Health effrt to provide information and increase awareness of community members about the effect, impact and existence of risky behaviors that increase the possibility of transmmitting or being infected by sexually transmitted diseases that can lead to ill-health and possibly death. It also shared information that reduces risk of exposure and infection.

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Project: These activities were undertaken during 2001 as part of a federal Center for Disease Control spnsored effort to increase awareness of personal behaviors that increase the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes.

C.E.E.D. Legacy Grant: Continuation grant for Reach. We were instrumental in conceptualizing this work as an approach to making community members more effective self-advocates in the health care system. The original focus was to work through racial and ethnic community groups and opinion leaders to engage community members in a process to increase their awareness regarding what they can and should expect from health workers and institutions to change their behavior regarding when and how they advocate for themselves in healthcare settings in order to impact the current condition where they are chronically unserved and underserved.

COMMUNITY BUILDING

An important part of each individual's life experience includes the social context in which we live. The need for social interaction that build feelings of trust and promotes the practice of reciprocity are integral for the health of the community. This aspect of our work represents a significant focus on both bridging and bonding social capital. We attempt to engage and involve various national, ethnic and religious groups of African descent in the experience of joint-problem solving, building trust through working together and reciprocity as a result of cooperation. We also view this area as a major bridging social capital opportunity for the community of African descent and the larger community both through the interaction of event participants as well as through the cooperation of event supporters and volunteers.

African/Caribbean Celebration: This annual event has been held since 2001. The family-oriented outdoor cultural event brings together over 1,000 community residents to share music, dance and food. The opportunity to engage in social interaction and participate in activities that are culturally affirming provides relief from social isolation and cultural alienation for community memebers of African descent. It also provides information about and education regarding the cultural heritage, practices and customs of various African cultural, national and ethnic cultural practices for the wider community.

Undoing Racism activites: We are involved with a number of activities, organizations and initiatives that seek to address issues of power and privilege from a positive perspective. We believe that we promote the common good by address issues of unfairness and inequity whether they be based on contemporarty institutional biases, historical social practices.

 New Hampshire People of Color Leadership SummitThe POC Leadership Summit was held in partnership with Ujima Collective, Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Granite State Organizing Project and NH Black Women Health Project. The objectives were to gather people committed to social justice, provide an environment where people of color can analyze, discuss and develop action plans to address the issues of criminal justice, education/employment, health and politic.

In Our Image Media Project: An important role and function of social institutions is to define, describe and determine who we think we are, how we think we act and what we think we do. Over the years, through a number of media projects, Ujima has participated in community media projects including Community Connections and now Inside Story. Both are media projects that provide voice and presence of communities of African descent in the Manchester, NH area. 

 We Are One Festival: In 2014, Latinos Unidos de New Hampshire and Ujima Collective combined the Latino Festival and the African/Caribbean Celebration into a combined effort renamed as the We Are One Festival. We continue to cooperate, coordinate and collaborate because we are "Better Together."

For more infor on our programs email us at ujima@netzero.com

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