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Over the spring and summer, our communities responded to continued oppression and modern-day lynchings with righteous indignation. Whether on the streets or at their screens, our people resisted state-sanctioned violence, police brutality, economic uncertainty, the looming threat of eviction, political exclusion, and unemployment.

Yesterday, this resistance continued as enfranchised citizens cast their ballots for federal and state officials as well as other democratic initiatives on the last day to do so. In a record turnout more than 100 million Americans voted early by mail and millions more at the ballot box. The implications that drove such high numbers have been ever present for marginalized communities. …


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Liberation: the act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release. The power to shape your own existence in this world.

In the preface to his 2002 book Freedom Dreams, Robin DG Kelley asked, “How do we produce a vision that enables us to see beyond our immediate ordeals? How do we transcend bitterness and cynicism and embrace love, hope, and an all-encompassing dream of freedom, especially in these rough times?” Kelley continues, “Trying to envision “somewhere in advance of nowhere,” as poet Jayne Cortez puts it, is an extremely difficult task, yet it is a matter of great urgency. Without new visions we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. …


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#LiberationEdition Part 2

#LiberationEdition Part 2: Last month, we presented part one of a two part series about the tools and methodologies people have developed towards the goal of liberation. We explored suffrage, economic empowerment and intellectual thought as fertile ground to gather and arrive at the myriad of ways we’ve carved out liberated zones. Visit our Medium Page for the full essay. In this edition, we examine organizing and spirituality as avenues for our collective freedom dreams.

“I can’t pretend to be hopeful,” a friend said as we chatted over Zoom. It was the evening of the election. …


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Photo: Georgia Gilmore in the kitchen, 1978. The Montgomery Advertise

Last month, in the #BlackPhilanthropyEdition, we delved into the history of Black Philanthropy Month, and learned more about the methods of aid Black folks developed and employed in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. In this issue, we cover the roots of the contemporary philanthropic movement: people who claimed space and transformed the Civil Rights movement through organizing, music, food and creative changemaking.

TELL THEM ABOUT THE DREAM!

Mahalia Jackson was baptized in the Mississippi River in 1923. She was twelve years old. She grew up in the church, cutting her teeth in the choir at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. By the time she made her name as an international superstar and gospel legend in the 1950s, she was using her influence, and coins, to take up the call of her generation and joined the civil rights movement. “Shortly after meeting King at the National Baptist Convention in 1956, Jackson agreed to sing at a fundraising rally for the Montgomery bus boycott. After that, she frequently accompanied King to perform at rallies and events,” reported Vox writer Emily Crockett, “…This bond of mutual inspiration and respect between King and Jackson came at a pivotal moment during the 1963 March on Washington.” Dr. King had gone through several iterations of his speech by the time he made it to the podium. …


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August is Black Philanthropy Month. What follows is an overview of Black Philanthropy in the Americas from the 18th and 19th centuries.

This year, you likely cooked a meal for friends or family. You’ve given to a mutual aid fund. You utilized your local sustainable facebook group whose title is also a promise, (“Everything Free [Insert Neighborhood Here]).” You’ve donated to countless GoFundMe campaigns, and perhaps you’ve sent money to those who lost income at the start of the pandemic. Maybe you’ve volunteered, or baked goods to make sure the children had gifts for the holidays. …


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Across the United States the uprisings and calls to support Black owned businesses have resulted in an uptick in resourcing for Black farmers. In Durham, NC hundreds waited in line to get into the Black Farmers Market. In Baltimore, and many other cities, urban farming continues to be on the rise. Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, was even featured in an online editorial on Vogue.com. This month, we released the #BlackFarmersEdition of the Ujima WIRE, which unpacked monumental cases like Pigford I and II, reparations and the United States’ modern history of land theft in the Black community.

In this issue, we cover the roots of the contemporary farming movement, data and its implications on farming policy, and land reclamation happening across the United States. …


Community Capital (COCAP): Building The We Economy & Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) Conferences Recap

Last week, Ujima staff spent five days in the Bay Area (San Francisco & Oakland) presenting the Ujima model at several conferences on community economics, impact investing and neighborhood development. Everybody we talked to — from organizers to impact investors — were excited to learn about Ujima’s model, the first community capital fund to give local residents decision-making power through direct democracy.

At the conferences, we also had the chance to connect with some visionary leaders from around the country working to center the leadership of people of color and to build inclusive and equitable economies in their communities. We are excited to grow these partnerships with like-minded folks from around the country, as part of the larger movement for an equitable and regenerative economy. …

About

Boston Ujima Project

THE BOSTON UJIMA PROJECT is organizing neighbors, workers, business owners and investors to create a new community controlled economy in Boston.

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