Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kwanzaa Day 3 Principle: Ujima

Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility, is one of my favorite Kwanzaa principles as I feel it relates well with the mission of Black and Into Green. The official Kwanzaa site defines Ujima as follows "To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together." I was fortunate enough last night to participate in an annual Kwanzaa celebration (though I missed the ceremony) organized by one of my favorite family clans. There was good food, great conversation and fantastic company at this event. Most of the members of this family live the principle of Ujima through their chosen occupations- healthcare, education, advocacy and the law among just a few examples. On the environmental front here are five actions we can take to "build and maintain our communities."

  • Educate - Hone your knowledge of environmental issues that impact community health and quality of life
  • Get Involved - Join organizations that support environmental and health initiatives. Many of these are sorely lacking a black, asian or latino perspective
  • Speak Up - Raise awareness among your family, friends, neighbors and politicians
  • Buy Green - Support businesses that pursue a triple bottom line strategy
  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - Fight to ensure accountability for and equal access to green jobs and other infrastructure improvement opportunities in your community

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