Umoja | Unity
by Jelisa Harvey
Habari Gani! The first principle of Kwanzaa, Umoja, celebrates togetherness. Umoja represents family, friends and community. During Kwanzaa, unity is first demonstrated by the families and community coming together to ignite the black candle that symbolizes togetherness. Umoja is a union of two or more people to create or work together. Unity was shown strongly during the Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives Matter and, yes, even Beyoncé’s call for all Black women to get in “Formation.” Umoja shows harmony throughout conversation, action, connections and relationships.
The representation of Umoja is shown in various ways at The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects, too, through our daily interactions as a team: conversations, ideas, open dialogue and (at least) weekly gathering for social eating (which I really enjoy). A common African saying, “I am because we are,” paints a picture of unity as the development of the self within the community to work together to achieve great things. I realize I need the assistance from my team members to enhance my professional development. The Lighthouse office space and team create power within ourselves that allows us to fulfill our mission to Black girls and women.