​​Project Ujima, Inc.​.

Collective work and responsibility

“Wellness Circles”, offering residents a variety of health and wellness programming, including such activities as Zumba, line-dancing, Tai Chi, healthy cooking, discussions on mental health and minority health related issues.



To learn more about our progress, what we do,

what we have accomplished and our “theory of change”

please download the Project Ujima Overview.


Provide consultation and moderate services on a contractual bases – this past year these services were provided to the following organizations and/or institutions on the following topics:

“Youth Community Forum – Framing a Vision for Our Future” - Akron Summit Community Action

“Health in All Policies Community Health Forum”

Summit County Health Department

“Is Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis? A Community Discussion Circle” – The
Minority Health Roundtable – Healthy Connections Network

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

To invite someone from Project Ujima to come speak to your group,

organization or membership about Project Ujima and learn how to get

involved, or for more information, contact Crystal Jones, Manager,

Project Ujima at 330-434-7988, or CLJ@projectujima-inc.org

We also send a weekly e-mail to a database of over 900 people, highlighting Project Ujima meetings, programs, events and volunteer opportunities,

in addition to community-at-large events relevant to the Buchtel community.

Provide ongoing Moderator Training –

Over 125 people have completed basic moderator skill training.

Organize speakers/panel discussions on employment,

vocational training and reentry opportunities.

Offer financial literacy opportunities in a fun and engaging way through

the playing of the game called “Cash Flow”.

Akron Today Show interview of Crystal Jones

"Cash Flow" game in progress @ Helen Arnold Community Learning Center

Adoption and restoration of Kerr Park – winner of a Keep Akron Beautiful Award.


Recruitment of Project Ujima moderators to participate in training

to become Peace Circle Keepers (i.e., circle facilitators) and volunteers

to serve as community representatives in the Peace Circles--

a Restorative Justice/Peace Circle initiative and diversionary program for

youth offenders--offered by and in collaboration with by the

Peace, Justice and Equality Committee of the Summit County Juvenile Court.

Recruitment of residents to serve as Judges for Project-Based Learning presentations

by middle and high school students.

Recruitment and coordination of volunteers to serve as reading tutors for students at

Helen Arnold CLC and Crouse CLC, Shumacher CLC,

and mentors for students in grades 7 and 8 at Buchtel CLC.

Book discussion events focused on African American literature, poetry, and spoken word.

Knowledge of Self and African Centered Education, exploring culture, traditions and world views held and practiced by people of color as a means to reinforce values and connections.

Project Ujima was established in 2011 by community leaders and the residents of Akron’s Buchtel Community, with a three-year, $674,000 start-up grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to pilot an innovative community engagement initiative. Project Ujima is now entering its fifth year serving and being served by the Buchtel Community.

Project Ujima provides a process and a place for residents and other stakeholders to come together to identify, deliberate and take action on issues of shared concern. It fosters the conditions that lead to residents discovering their own efficacy and capacity to work together to strengthen their community. Action planning facilitation and seed money, if needed, is available for work on which common ground is reached and undertaken by residents.

Project Ujima’s Research Action Teams (ReACTeams)and their taskforces coordinated, developed and/or partnered with numerous organizations to deliver the following outcomes (which vary year-to-year) to some 700+ people in the Buchtel Community on an annual basis:

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

  Help to build and maintain a community vegetable teaching garden with

Schumacher Community Learning Center.


If you believe in the work Project Ujima is doing in the

Buchtel Community please go to our Donate Now! page

and consider making a contribution so our progress can

continue and our work can be sustained.  

We believe that if this work can be done in the Buchtel Community,

it can be done in any and all communities across our country!