Ujima is driven by the belief that locally owned businesses and cooperatives play an essential role in moving toward this vision, as people who create wealth, jobs, vital goods and services, and spaces to gather and organize in our neighborhoods. The Ujima Good Business Alliance (UGBA) unites local businesses, provides multi-faceted support, and incentivizes accountability to our shared values. The UGBA is a network of community-based businesses that are eligible for investment from the Ujima Fund and other supportive programs.

To join the Ujima Good Business Alliance, the business must first be certified as a “Good Business” by the Ujima Community Standards Committee (CSC), a democratically elected group of eight local business and community leaders, responsible for 

  1. Proposing the Good Business Standards based on member input;  

  2. Stewarding the invitation and intake process of businesses into the Alliance; 

  3. Ensuring ongoing accountability by the businesses to the Standards

The Ujima Good Business Certification encompasses 36 standards across 8 categories, as well as 13 sector-specific standards informed by local grassroots partners. The Good Business Standards help us strategically shift our collective spending and support away from businesses that are harming our communities and the earth, and towards businesses building a just local economy. These certification standards were approved in 2019 and will be updated regularly by Ujima’s voting members.

 

2021-2022 UJIMA GOOD BUSINESSES

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CERO CO-OP

CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is an award-winning commercial composting company based out of Dorchester, MA. They provide food waste pickup and diversion services for a wide range of commercial clients in the metro Boston area, and transport compostables to local farms where they are returned to the soil and used to support the local agricultural economy. Their mission is simple: keep food waste out of landfills, save money for their clients, and provide green jobs for Boston’s hard working communities.

The founding UGBA members in the directory below were invited based on relationships and information that came out of our Neighborhood Assemblies and worked to co-create the dues and criteria for the UGBA. Some of the businesses below will re-apply to join the Ujima Business Alliance based on our Good Business standards.

 

FOUNDING UJIMA GOOD BUSINESSES

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Agaric

Agaric is a worker-owned web development collective that helps people create and use powerful web sites. Because they are part of the Free Software movement, they build on tools and frameworks created and tested by thousands of people. Their goal is to give you power over your web sites and online technology.

 

Our grassroots partners provide political leadership and root our work in ongoing struggles for housing justice, labor rights, youth empowerment, environmental justice, and more. Their expertise and membership bodies help to guide our process of creating community-led standards and investment plans for our local economy. Visit our Organize page for more information on how to support our grassroots parners.

Email nia_at_ujimaboston.com to learn about becoming a grassroots partner.

Black Economic Justice Institute is a nonprofit organization that works to advocate and develop programs that address justice and economic opportunity for black and other people of color of Boston.

 

UJIMA STAFF TEAM

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Nia Evans

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

James Vamboi, Jr.

CHIEF OF STAFF, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE

Johnny Charles

MANAGING DIRECTOR,

UJIMA FUND

Cierra Peters

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Paige Curtis

CULTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

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Somala Diby

FUND INTERN

Anton Jayavendra

FUND INTERN

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Elijah McCants-Green

FUND INTERN

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Aaron Tanaka

CO-FOUNDER

 

JOIN THE TEAM

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Arts and Cultural Organizing is one of the pillars of Ujima’s ecosystem. Ujima believes that artists and cultural workers are an integral part of building the new world; the knowledge, poetic imagination, and inventiveness of artists have always helped the world find new, more liberatory, pathways forward.

 

The Arts and Cultural Organizing Fellowship will be awarded to a member of Ujima’s Arts and Cultural Organizing Member Team who demonstrates a commitment to their artistic practice and a commitment to the principles of the Ujima Project.

The Ujima Arts & Cultural Organizing Fellow will spend two years in an emergent, self-determined program tailored to the needs and interests of the fellow. Applicants should be organizers, musicians, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, poets, novelists, playwrights, designers, directors, and performance artists who would find it beneficial to spend two years working alongside Ujima’s vibrant membership body and community.

Proposals are due September 20, 2021. Applicants will be notified in November 2021. The fellowship period begins in January 2022.

Click here to apply

 

COMMUNITY STANDARDS COMMITTEE

Joyce Clark

Community Health Advocate, 

NAACP New England Area Conference Chair on Climate Change

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Luis Cotto

Program Manager,

Mass Cultural Council

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Mea Johnson

Director of Community Organizing,

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

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Alex Ponte Capellan

Community Organizer,

City Life/ Vida Urbana

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Elie Tigalo

Worker Owner,

Tanám

 

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE

Alex Ponte-Capellan, Community Standards Committee

Kerry Bowie, Founder, Msaada Partners

Miriam Gee, Co-Founder, Co-Everything

Pat Miguel Tomaino, Director of Socially Responsible Investing, Zevin Asset Management

 

ADVISORY BOARD

Bithiah Carter, President, New England Blacks in Philanthropy

Jed Emerson, Author and Strategic Advisor to Family Offices

Rodney Foxworth, Executive Director, BALLE

Darlene Lombos, Executive Director, Community Labor United (CLU)

Brian Nagendra, Assistant Director, Catalyst Impact Funds at Living Cities

Jessica Norwood, Entrepreneur and RSF Social Finance Fellow

Jocelyn V. Sargent, Executive Strategic Consultant,New Commonwealth Racial Equity & Social Justice Fund

Morgan Simon, Author and Founding Partner, Candide Group

Mark Watson, Managing Director, Boston Impact Initiative

Kat Taylor, Co-Founder, and CEO, Beneficial State Bank

Michael Curry, Esq., Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers