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News and updates from around the Ujima Ecosystem.

Ujima's 2022 Investment & Voting Program

February 28, 2022 -- We shared our investment and voting program for the year with voting members.

In case you missed it, Ujima members voted to make a second Ujima Fund investment in Dorchester Food Coop! This year, the Ujima Fund set an ambitious goal to make seven to ten investments, valuing about $1-1.25 million, and we’re just getting started. We’re roaring into 2022, and have some exciting updates to share about the year ahead.

We’re excited to partner with Voting Members to achieve maximum voting participation in an effort to see our ecosystem thrive. Stronger participation enables us to reach a quorum on every investment vote, so if “Businesses We Love,” receive an affirmative vote, those businesses will receive funding. Likewise, businesses that don’t receive an affirmative vote will be able to access non-monetary, and technical support. And when voters name additional “Businesses We Love” for consideration, they can be ratified into an official investment plan for the Ujima Fund.

Ujima has taken steps towards creating our voting infrastructure for everyday democracy. We preview them for you below:

Voting Infrastructure for Everyday Democracy

1. Voter Affirmation Form

We’re continuing our Voter Affirmation process to keep our records up-to-date, and allow members to indicate the governance and investment decisions they would actively like to take part in. This Voter Affirmation process will now determine the quorum for each ballot, and helps us target our communications to you appropriately.

We’d like to preview here that last week, Jazz Urbane completed their entry into the Ujima Good Business Alliance – this will be the next vote we ask members to participate in.

2. Voting and Assembly Schedule

Februaryteenth - A month centered on ratification for Member Investment Lists and celebration of self-determination

April, Assembly - Starting in April, we will have annual assemblies twice a year. This April 2022, our assembly will focus on recreation and public spaces. More details regarding our April ‘22 assembly to come.

October, Assembly - In October, we will begin our second assembly of the year. October will host our public learning workshops. More details regarding our Oct ‘22 assembly to come.

3. Personalized Investment Plans

The Personalized Investment Form is an opportunity for Voting and Resident Members to name BIPOC “Businesses We Love” in our neighborhoods and across Boston. Each year, you are invited to name up to 13 businesses you love in your community. These names will feed into citywide and neighborhood investment lists for the following year. Then to be ratified during Februaryteenth by Voting Members for potential Ujima Fund investment.

4. Member Orientation

To offer new and existing members more support in getting oriented to the Ujima ecosystem, we’re exploring the addition of monthly or quarterly orientation sessions. These are intended for members wanting to learn more about Ujima, how we organize through member teams, and how voting at Ujima works. This will provide members with grounding and context to participate meaningfully in the ecosystem.

5. Delegate Program

Ujima is currently exploring the creation of a delegate program to ease the burden of investment list ratification. We envision delegates to be Voting Members who desire more involvement in the voting process. Investment lists might be divided into sectors or neighborhoods, and delegates would be responsible for choosing a few sectors, neighborhoods, or standards to review, rather than a holistic review. This will create a less burdensome process for voters.

Stay tuned for more updates around the ecosystem!


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