Habari Gani? Ujamaa!
Today, on the fourth day of Kwanzaa, we celebrate Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) which is to build & maintain our own stores, shops, & other businesses & to profit from them together.
Did you know that Black families give the greatest proportion of their wealth to charity of all racial and ethnic groups in the US and are consistently at the forefront of new charitable giving projects?
Black generosity and resource sharing is revolutionary!
Ujamaa reminds us that resourcing Black businesses and Black communities means we all win! Beyond shopping Black, Ujamaa can look like donating, volunteering, sharing or pooling resources, knowledge or goods that uplift Black people, artists, creators, and families.
Today’s practice comes from Community Organizer, jay brissette.
Get Inspired by the Black Panthers!
Illustration: Ariel Aberg-Riger/Bloomberg CityLab
Reflect: How does/can my family contribute to our community’s economy? What are some ways we can and do contribute to “mutual aid?” How might we trade services or goods or buy from community members (trading childcare with another family, paying community members directly for services to keep money in your community)?
Activity: Let’s build our own cooperative or solidarity economy! As a family, start by thinking of TWO ways in which you already participate in your community’s cooperative economy. Challenge your family to come up with one way to extend mutual aid efforts or put money back in your community.
Learn more about Mutual Aid
- We’re All We’ve Got, We’re All We Need: A Mutual Aid Explainer (Video)
- Introduction to Mutual Aid, Mariame Kaba, Barnard Center for Research on Women (Video)
- What Is Mutual Aid?, Dr. Tyesha Maddox
- Solidarity, Not Charity: Mutual Aid for Mobilization and Survival, Dean Spade (PDF)
- Toolkit: Mutual Aid 101, Mariame Kaba & Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Google Doc)
- How the Black Panthers’ Breakfast Program Both Inspired and Threatened the Government, History