Organizers prepare for the 2nd phase of the Africa-focused cooperative research project

PITTSBURGH, October 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Last July, the Africa-Centric Cooperative Research Project was announced as a new initiative to identify ways in which Africa-Centric organizations practice collectivism and find ways to improve practices for sharing wealth and shared assets in the City of Pittsburgh. The project will soon enter its second phase, which includes hosting Sankofa circles over the next few months. These Sankofa Circles will be held via Zoom and will focus on different topics found in the survey responses. (It will provide an opportunity for dialogue on topics related to the cooperative economy.) The Africa-Centered Cooperative Research Project is a cooperative effort between Ujamaa Collective, Cocoapreneur LLC, and the Sankofa Research Institute.

“There has been a legacy of cooperative efforts between black businesses here in Pittsburgh. The value of “we are who we seek to serve” was manifested in the efforts of our collective ancestor Ella Bakerwho contributed to the Young Negro’s Cooperative League (they held their first meeting in Pittsburgh) with several other organizations, and is today present in the value system of Ujamaa Collective, says Wolf LaKeishaexecutive director of the Ujamaa collective.

“Black co-op is about protecting the black community and its future,” says Assata Richards, director of the Sankofa Research Institute. “We want to engage black people who are already participating in black co-op, keep the conversation going, and awaken others to this concept.”

As the organizers move into the focus group phase of the project, survey links will continue to be opened to gather as much community feedback as possible.

Survey participants will be entered into a raffle for gift certificates to various local black businesses, with a grand prize of one $250 gift certificate from Ujamaa Collective in each survey group. The deadline for the next raffle is Saturday, October 1, 2022.

Black and African centered organizations and individuals can select the appropriate inquiry link below:

Survey for groups – companies and organizations that can inform about state of cooperation and join a discussion group:

Survey for individuals – to inform Sankofa community conversations to build knowledge and context for cooperation:

The Africa-focused collaborative research project was made possible through support from The Heinz Endowments and the Pittsburgh Foundation.

About the Ujamaa Collective

Ujamaa Collective is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded with a social mission to act as a catalyst to advance African women by providing a fair trade marketplace for cultural, artistic and entrepreneurial exchange through the economy co-op in the historic Hill District and beyond. “We rise by climbing. The concept of Ujamaa has its roots in Tanzania and is borrowed from the fourth principle of the Kwanzaa holiday, which means “the cooperative economy: building and maintaining our own shops, stores and other businesses and profiting from them together”. In 2008, the founders of Ujamaa Collective used this concept to issue a call to action for black women to come to the table and share ideas on business and community development, which heavily included African examples. financial exchanges.

About Cocoaprenuer Pgh, LLC

Cocoapreneur Pgh, LLC was founded in February 2018. Cocoapreneur’s mission is to foster an environment of economic prosperity to ensure more sustainable neighborhoods for historically African American communities and neighborhoods around. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By supporting companies through advertising, marketing and consulting, Cocoapreneur aims to normalize the notion of entrepreneurship. We want to make becoming a business owner a more achievable and attainable goal for African Americans in the greater Pittsburgh Region.

Sankofa Research Institute

Using community-based participatory research (CBPR), the Sankofa Research Institute brings together professional researchers, local community actors, and leaders around their goals. Through training, mentoring, and collaborative dialogues, SRI prepares community members to partner in research with academics and stakeholders. We work as a partner and catalyst within the community during the research development and implementation process. The resulting evidence-based research establishes the credibility of the community in its search for resources to mobilize change that will provide residents with dignity and the opportunity to live more meaningful lives.


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SOURCE The Africa-Centric Cooperative Research Project

Virginia S. Braud