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News and updates from around the Ujima Ecosystem.

The Bay State Banner Joins UGBA

The Bay State Banner is an African-American-owned news weekly that reports on the political, economic, social, and cultural issues that are of interest to African American and English-speaking Latinos in Boston and throughout New England.

In addition to their weekly newspaper, they have daily updated content on our digital platform, as well as the specialty publication, Be Healthy, a national award winner for excellence in health care coverage. The Banner is the newspaper of record for this community and has chronicled the struggles and successes of the last 50 years.

In 2023, the paper was purchased by Ron Mitchell and André Stark, two media producers from the Boston area. Together they are building upon the legacy of the Banner with a renewed vision, expanding to all six New England states. We at Ujima are so excited by their acceptance of our invitation to join the UGBA and share their enthusiasm around exceptional business practices.

Joining the Alliance is a rigorous process that involves compliance with our 36 Good Business Standards. We see Baystate Banner do exceptionally well in the areas of

  • Product or Service Mission: In an industry where companies are cutting resources, The Bay State Banner seeks to expand the paper and add as many components, as they can, that are of value to community members. They started by adding pages, moving from 20 pages to 24 pages with some weeks at 29 pages and a 34-page issue with a tribute to the late Mel King. And while some companies have gone all digital, The Bay State Banner is adding digital and continuing to print 30,000 papers that are distributed from Worcester to the Cape.

  • Good Local Jobs: Whereas a more typical new ownership story often includes layoffs (hello twitter), The Bay State Banner not only kept all employees but also increased their salaries or offered bonuses to keep them on.

  • Commitment to Employee Ownership: When structuring their stock, the majority owners of The Bay State Banner set aside 10% of their non-voting shares for employees. All employees, after 1 year, will earn shares as they continue.

Join us in welcoming The Bay State Banner to the UGBA!


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