The word Ujima ("oo-JEE-mah") is a  Ki ("kee") Swahili* word that means "Collective Work and Responsibility": To build and maintain our community together and to make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together".  Ujima  is exactly what this project...this movement... is all about.

   *Swahili (Kiswahili among its speakers) is a Bantu language spoken in East and Central Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands

​​Project Ujima, Inc.​.

Collective work and responsibility

OUR PROCESS

ReACTeams and Taskforces


After the community vision statement was created in October 2011 at the Project Ujima Kick-off,  we held a series of dialogues that led to the development of overarching areas of priorities on which to focus development of programming and services to our community.  The initial four priorities that came out of those dialogues are the following:

Community Communications
Education and Employment
Financial Literacy and Economic Planning
Knowledge of Self and African Centered Education

 The following two additional priorities were added the following year:

Healthy Quality of Life
Safe and Nurturing Environment

Research Action Teams ("ReACTeams") were formed for each of these priorities. Taskforces from each ReACTeam are responsible for the research, implementation and coordination of programs and services.


Go to Our Progress web site page to see the results of the community's work.


You may also want to download our"Talk To Action" brochure.


Please contact Crystal Jones, Manager, Project Ujima

by phone at 330-434-7988 or email CLJ@projectujima-inc.org,


if you would like to find out more information, join one of the taskforces involved in bringing programs or services, find your place of service, and/or, share an idea or community issue you would like addressed in a Project Ujima Discussion Circle.



Judging Our Progress 

After each program and at the end of each year, we routinely analyze and reflect on our work at what we call “Judging Our Progress” (JOP) Circles. 

At these circles we look to address the following questions:  

What went well?

What did not go well?

Based on what we learned, what will do differently next time?

Routinely answering these questions allows our work to be in a process of continuous improvement, facilitating a structured way to learn from our successes and challenges. The JOP also provides a mechanism to hold each other accountable to do what we said we were going to do and work to resolve what got in the way if those commitments were not fulfilled.​

 

There many ways to join the work, family and fun of Project Ujima!
We Need You - Our Community Needs You!


Please contact Crystal Jones, Manager, Project Ujima

at 330-434-7988 or CLJ@projectujima-inc.org, if you would like to find out more information, join one of the taskforces involved in bringing programs or services, find your place of service, and/or, share an idea or community issue you would like addressed in a Project Ujima Discussion Circle.


National Issues Forum 
Issue Guides http://www.nifi.org/


  • America's Future: What Should Our Budget Priorities Be?

  • Bullying: How Do We Prevent It?

  • Youth and Violence: Reducing the Threat

  • Looking for Answers Together: How Should We Nurture Children to Be Healthy and Make Better Choices?

  • Success in School, Ready for Life: How Can We Help More Students Graduate from High School?

  • Economic Security: How Should We Take Charge of Our Future?

  • Preparing Today's Kids for Tomorrow's Jobs: What Should Our Community Do?

  • Sustaining Ourselves: How Can We Best Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow?


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Moderator Training Workshops: 


We hold two Saturday workshops per year, one in the Fall and the other in the Spring, for people who are interested in learning the basic skills of moderating a structured deliberative discussion circle.  

Moderators-in-Training:  
Opportunities to begin practicing and honing the skills learned in the workshop are available by pairing a newly trained moderator with a more skilled moderator, and moderating either an issue presented in a National Issues Forum Guide (see below), or an issue selected by the group identified by the moderator-in-training. 

Moderator reflective and skill enhancement sessions are held as needed throughout the year.




​​​Discussion Circles

If a concern or community issue
comes up that residents would like to discuss, explore actions to take to address or resolve the concern or issue, a deliberative discussion circle is held. 

The discussion circle usually requires a minimum of two meetings.  The first discussion circle is devoted to people around the circle sharing how the topic affects them and ideas to address the concern or issue. The second discussion circle is devoted to the deliberation (discussing the pros, cons and tradeoffs) of implementing each of the ideas offered. 

If common ground is reached on an action(s) to take and three or more people around the circle would like to lead the work involved in bringing the idea from talk to action, a taskforce is formed under an existing *Research Action Team (ReACTeam).


​​Project Ujima does not look to others to solve community problems or know

what we, as a community, want and need. Instead, we believe we have the abilities right here in our own community to know and do what is best for us.


While we might need some outside assistance from our partners, we know that we can strengthen our community if we are willing to talk honestly about our issues, hopes, and dreams and then work together to achieve what we set out to do. 

We use a discussion process (called deliberation) to come together to talk, share our ideas and perspectives and find common ground on action(s) we would like to take together to solve problems and strengthen our community. (Rather than spending a lot of time and energy debating whose idea is best, we deliberate the pros, cons, and trade-offs of each idea, thereby making good ideas, better.) People from our own community who have received training to moderate this work, facilitate the discussions and work.