Originating from the “Nguzo Saba” of Kwanzaa, Ujimaa comprises two substantial principles of huge significance in our community – Ujimaa (Collective Work and Responsibility), and Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics). We believe that in order to make a
systematic change, we must work together as a unified front in order to sustain and uplift our families, neighborhoods, and communities.
We believe that in order for people to exercise their fullest potential, we must first exercise the concept of Sankofa – looking back into the past. Knowledge and understanding of one’s history and ancestry can only increases “Self” esteem and increases one’s sense of purpose. By giving our young brothers and sisters culturally relevant curriculum that acknowledges the significant global contributions of past and present leaders of their image, they can feel proud knowing that they too can achieve equal or greater accomplishments.
As many of our children come from loosely structure backgrounds, we aim to provide a highly-structured atmosphere with plenty of room to wiggle and have fun. We have high expectations for our youth and hold our children accountable in a manner that is asset-based and uplifting. Children love the call and response approach as well as performing
formations. The result is a manageable atmosphere conducive for a learning experience where nurturing and sustainable relationships are built, and children who envision clear pathways toward success.
Our monthly themes are:
The matter of cultural relevancy when delivering lessons to urban children has been a major topic of concern for years now. Studies have shown that there is little to no presence of curriculum that relates to urban youth, which may affect the overall bell-curve when customarily gauging the levels of individual and collective intelligence across demographic borders. The remedy is simple in theory and effective in practice – implement culturally relevant material when engaging youth with important topics that impact their lives both directly and indirectly.
Through the integration of video, audio, literature, and power point presentation, concepts are delivered to children in a manner that is coherent with individual learning styles. Upon the beginning of each theme students are given assessment tests, then post-assessments once the lessons are complete. Over 90% of participating students have shown significant increases in concept mastery using this phenomenal approach!