Ujima is dedicated to social justice – the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled include the rights to life and liberty; freedom of expression; equality before the law; economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, the right to work, the right to health, and the right to education.
The Buffalo City Summer School of the Arts (various): Summer 2016 Ujima was fortunate to teach 7th to12th grade students through the BCSA. This project provided a unique learning experience through multiple artistic areas for youth who entered the program through a competitive portfolio process.
Crossroads Collective (various): Crossroads Collective is a coalition of 8 organizations dedicated to creating a Green Economy on Buffalo’s frontlines. Crossroads Collective operates at the intersection of Climate, Economic, and Racial Justice. We are building a new community economy in Buffalo!
EmcArts Community Innovation Lab (PUSH and Open Buffalo): The Community Innovation Lab uses the arts to bring together diverse, cross-sector groups of stakeholders in a city or neighborhood in order to take on a self-determined community challenge. Participants include city agencies, community organizers, business leaders, artists, cultural organizations, and nonprofit service providers.
Independence Bound (ECC): Ujima Company engages foster care youth during biweekly workshops through Erie Community College’s Independence Bound Program. Various methods are employed to help prepare these youth for adulthood as social, personal and job readiness skills are explored.
New Economy Coalition (various): Ujima Company is a part of The New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of organizations imagining and building a future where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive. Together, we are creating deep change in our economy and politics—placing power in the hands of people and uprooting legacies of harm—so that a fundamentally new system can take root.
NY Renews (various): Ujima is a member of NY Renews, a growing multi-sector, statewide coalition of 91 environmental, social, labor and economic justice organizations. We aim to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by moving the economy off of fossil fuels and to create a just transition to renewable energy with well-paying, safe jobs and revitalization of impacted communities.
Plenty (Young Audiences of Western New York and CS1 Curatorial Projects): Internationally known artist Nick Cave has been engaged in the year-long residency project “Plenty,” during which Cave will open an artistic dialogue between oft-disparate communities across Buffalo.
School 77 (PUSH): A vacated, former public school on the West Side of Buffalo will become the new headquarters for Ujima, PUSH Buffalo and Peace of the City as part of a planned $14M redevelopment project spearheaded by PUSH. This project will also feature 30 affordable-housing units for senior citizens on the building’s second and third floors. We are scheduled to move in late 2017.
The Spirit of Nina (Drea d’Nur): The Spirit of Nina Simone returns to Kleinhans Music Hall after 52 years in a riveting musical and visual homage produced by Drea d’Nur in collaboration with Ujima Co., Inc. This stage production will encompass music, dance, theatre and visual artists from across the country on February 24, 2017. Visit ujimacoinc.org and officialdreadnur.com for more info and tickets.
The Submission (BUA): Ujima and Buffalo United Artists opened their 2016-2017 seasons as part of Buffalo’s Curtain Up! 2016 with the production of The Submission by Jeff Talbott, directed by Lorna C. Hill. This collaboration brought together our audiences at Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret to address issues of race, culture, sexuality and ownership of our stories in this well written, contemporary play. This production touched the lives of many of our audience members and we will continue to perform this piece in the near future across the community.
Westside Studios (PUSH and Squeaky Wheel): West Side Studios is a media arts education and workforce development program partnership between Squeaky Wheel and PUSH Buffalo that provides year-round, quality out-of-school opportunities for West Side residents ages 13-19. Hands-on experience in digital media arts fine-tunes production skills and creates a pipeline to employment. Completed media artworks are exhibited at Grant Street Neighborhood Center, Squeaky Wheel and partnering venues, stations and festivals. This program is made possible with support from The New York State Council on the Arts and The New York State Regional Economic Development Council.