Arts & Cultural
Mission & Ethos
Ujima’s arts & cultural organizing programs seek to steward the wisdom, leadership, and visions of an alternative future created by the BIPOC artists, and thinkers, of all generations through online and in-person offerings, funding opportunities, and workshops.
INTENTIONALITY: Understanding our role as both administrators of, and participants in cultural work we do not take lightly our responsibility as an organization. Endowed with the social and political capital this status brings, we know firsthand that following the status quo feels easy. As such, we work to create ongoing formal and informal spaces for deep listening to those most affected by the harmful systems we are working to change. In doing so, we create the trust and reciprocity that allow us to create the programming we do.
Our turn towards intentionality includes simplified application processes, limited bureaucracy, and support for bold, expressive (sometimes speculative, and difficult-to-define) cultural projects that interrogate the human experience.
EXPERIMENTATION: While normative institutional logic dictates that we must choose or build on what already exists, we seek to experiment! New ideas are a gift, and while not all ideas will work, the grandeur of life is simply trying. As such, we take a pilot approach when testing out new programs, policies, and processes always open to feedback from our community. Great ideas can come from anyone, and we’re thankful to be nimble enough to learn from new endeavors.
COALITION BUILDING: Ujima means collective work and responsibility. In accordance with our Swahili namesake, we strive to have a coalitional politic woven throughout our programming and values. We do this by incorporating the participation of members, and partnership with other organizations wherever possible, all led by the desires and guidance of BIPOC artists and culture bearers.