Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ujamaa - A recap


Susan L. Taylor once said: “I emphasize the combination of spirituality and entrepreneurship because I believe that together they will form a foundation of love and security for our people and give us the wings that we need to fly.”

I believe this with my whole heart.

It’s that time of year again, when I get extra excited about the beautiful community I have. My NYC clan gets together and every year goes from December 26 - January 1 sharing in Kwanzaa festivities. This year I am co-hosting Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), the fourth day of Kwanzaa, with Gerald Leavell. I want you to be there to help form a foundation of love and security, celebrate the combination of spirituality and entrepreneurship, giving the gift of wings to ourselves and others as we close out 2009!

Ujamaa - A Kwanzaa Celebration
Hosted by Gerald Leavell & Sallomé Hralima

Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 6:30 - 9:00PM
Sucré, 520 DeKalb Ave @ Bedford, Brooklyn, USA
(G to Bedford-Nostrand, B38 to Bedford)

We had three major activities (aside from the ceremonial aspects of Kwanzaa).

Sharing thoughts from selected quotes spread throughout the room

What Makes a Thriving Economic Community - an exercise

Ujamaa Quizbowl

We collected 25 business cards (including the youth). There were over 30 people in attendance!

In our community we have:

Marketing Consultants
Income Tax Consultants
Healing & Health Counselors
Gamer Experts
Creative Influences
Non-profit Founders
Urban Planners
Magazine Publishers
Film/Television Writers & Directors
Social Innovation Incubators
Nintendo DS Experts (dontcha love the babies?!)
Operations Specialists
Early Childhood Educators
Modeling Agents
Social Workers
Registered Nurses

A few of the scenarios we posed to participants in the "What Makes an Economically Thriving Community" included:
  1. Is there someone in this community that can deliver a baby?
  2. If we decided to have a celebration, is there an artist or performer that could entertain?
  3. If there were a natural disaster and we needed to build homes, is there someone here that could build them?
  4. If the Federal Government wanted to build a highway through our community, is there someone in the room that had the ability to redirect the highway (infrastructure)?
  5. Is there someone who could or does run a restaurant or coffee shop?
  6. If we wanted to change our diet to include only organic fruits & vegetables, is there anyone in the room who could grow that for us?
  7. If we all decided not to use public schools available to our children and we needed a building, teachers/administrators, books/supplies, music/art/sports needs, food, health practitioner, etc, are there people in the room who could supply us with those needs?
  8. If we were going to have a benefit concert to raise money for that school, are there at least two musicians in the room that could perform?
  9. If we wanted to purchase clothing solely from the people in our community, could we do that?
  10. If there was another blackout, is there anyone in the room trained to get us electricity?
  11. If our old computer operating systems stopped working, do we have computer whizzes/scientists to reconfigure our hardware?.
  12. If we were going to building a library, do we have the right people in the room to fill it with books, staff, computers?
  13. If everyone in the community decided to be financially free, do we have an accountant, financial advisor or planner that could help us all reach that goal?
  14. If we decided to have our health managed by member of our community, could we get our eyes, teeth, overall health, and reproductive health checked by participants?
  15. If the spiritual and mental well-being of the community declined, do we have one or all of the following to guide us out of that depressive state: filmmaker, therapist, or spiritual home?

Some questions from our Quizbowl. Can you answer any of them?
  1. What is the name of the millionaire cosmetic manufacturer born a pauper in Louisiana who led to the development of the straightening comb in 1905?
  2. In 1978 what president capped the decade by hosting an unprecedented meeting with 100 of the nation's top Black business leaders at the White House to improve opportunities for minority businesses and open lines of communication with the White House?
  3. Who attained the highest rank of international finance when he purchased the European holdings of Beatrice Foods in 1987 for $985 million?
  4. The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 destroyed what prosperous black community?
  5. With a net worth of $2.7 billion, who tops the inaugural Forbes list of the Wealthiest Black Americans.
  6. Name the Black Entertainment Television founder who became the first African American billionaire in 2000 after he sold the network to Viacom for $3 billion in stock and assumed debt.
  7. This millionaire's career winnings exceed $80 million, but his real money is made off the course. His annual prize money represents less than 15% of his income, with splashy sponsorship contracts from Nike, Gatorade, Gillette, Accenture, AT&T and others raking in at least $100 million each year. What is his name?
  8. With a $500 loan from his mother in 1942, this publisher started the Negro Digest. Over time he added such keynote brands as Ebony and Jet magazines, Fashion Fair Cosmetics, plus television, fashion and book publishing divisions.
  9. What business magazine focused on African-American business and consumer issues is published by Earl G. Graves Publishing and has the tagline: "Your ultimate source for wealth creation?"
  10. American Airlines recently created Black Atlas, an attempt to draw the African American frequent flier. What renowned Brooklyn writer and producer was selected as their Travel-Expert-At-Large, and spokesperson?
  11. In 1910, a group of dedicated reformers, black and white, gathered to create an organization to address the needs of African Americans as they migrated to the cities of the United States. This historic civil rights organization is now dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Name the organization.
  12. Founded by Marcus Garvey in 1914, what organization had over 2 million members in five years?
  13. What is the word in Swahili for Cooperative Economics?
  14. The Pan-African flag, also referred to as the UNIA flag, Afro-American flag or Black Liberation Flag, is a tri-color flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands. What color band in the flag represents the abundant natural wealth of Africa.
We had a blast!
Thank you to everyone who braved what may have been the coldest day to close 2009!
To those who planned on coming and missed it... Patronize a Black-owned business or entrepreneur TODAY!