BE THE WHOLE BEING OF GREATNESS WITH COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS: December 29, 2020

May we care for ourselves through the fourth principle of Kwanzaa – Ujamaa.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): 
building and maintaining our businesses together.


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Design by Wenzdai Figueroa

1. Umoja: Unity – To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

2. Kujichagulia: Self-Determination – To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

3. Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility – To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and solve them together.

4. Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics – To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

5. Nia: Purpose – To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

6. Kuumba: Creativity – To always do as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

7. Imani: Faith – To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Symbols of Kwanzaa include:

Mazao (Crops): these crops symbolize African harvesting celebrations as well as the rewards of productivity and collective labor.

Mkeka (Mat): the mat symbolizes the foundation of the African Diaspora–tradition and heritage.

Kinara (Candleholder): the candleholder symbolizes African roots.

Muhindi (Corn): corn represents children and the future, which belongs to them.

Mishumaa Saba (Seven Candles): emblematic of Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of Kwanzaa. These candles embody the values of the African Diaspora.

Kikombe cha Umoja (Unity Cup): symbolizes the foundation, principle and practice of unity.

Zawadi (Gifts): represent parental labor and love. Also symbolizes the commitments that parents make to their children.

Bendera (Flag): the colors of the Kwanzaa flag are black, red and green. These colors were originally established as colors of freedom and unity by Marcus Mosaih Garvey. The black is for people; red, the struggles endured; and green, for the future and hope of their struggles.

May we realize that compassion, kindness and love starts with being one in spirit and mind, which is the essence of cooperation and the only way we can be that for each other.

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