Our ProgramsUjima Enterprises sponsors three programs, Ujima Parents As Teachers (UPAT), for parents with children from pre-birth to kindergarten; Ujima Sasa! an afterschool academic and cultural heritage instruction program for youth in grades 4 through 12; and African Youth Training Circle, a partnership with community-based organizations to implement long-term youth intervention for anger management, conflict resolution, and asset and leadership training for those vulnerable to violence and school drop-out.
Ujima Parents As Teachers (UPAT)A parent education and family support program that informs parents from pregnancy to kindergarten how to recognize and encourage learning at each stage of their child's development. Parents are taught what to expect at each stage of four areas of child development: motor, language, intellectual, and social-emotional. With a staff of ten nationally certified Parent Educators, families are provided with a minimum of one Home Visit per month and one Parent-Child Group Activity meeting per month. An affiliate of the National Parents As Teachers Center , UPAT implements the Born To Learn™ curriculum that, through parent education, enhances child development, literacy, and school readiness. This program has a focus on literacy and cultural competency. UPAT gives African American, Latino, and Chinese parents opportunities to develop intercultural communication skills as well as support to actively guide and assist their young children's healthy development and prepare them for school.
Ujima Sasa!An after school and weekend instructional program for African American children from grade four through high school graduation. The program runs with the public school calendar and aligns learning expectations with those of the public school curriculum. Utilizing an intellectual, physical, and emotional approach to student learning, an African-centered curriculum designed by Dr. Baraka-Love, the students are taught reading comprehension, writing, note taking, research, arts and crafts, music skills, video production, and authentic African drum and dance.
Students meet in class after school for two hours for lessons; and on Saturdays for two hours drum instruction followed by two hours dance instruction. Their work is showcased at an End of Season Student Recital for their families and friends. Their dance and drum performances are featured at a community-wide annual concert celebrating the African American holiday of Juneteenth.
African Youth Training Circle (AYTC)A youth development program designed for community outreach to youth who are vulnerable to school underachievement, drop-out, and violence. There are four components:
Training of Trainers
Male volunteers from the African-American community receive training to conduct ongoing traditional African pathways to manhood training for youth.
Music, Dance, and Theater
Students learn authentic, traditonal drum patterns and dance steps, that have cultural meaning from instructors who train in Africa with masters in Drum dance.
Boys ages 12-18 are matched withtrainers who encourage character development, academic achievement, and the development of personal skills that are necessary to cultivate the child's natural talents. Training methods are drawn from traditional African manhood training for age-mates who have reached early puberty.
Individual academic plans are developed to tutor and support students through high school graduation. After High School graduation students are enrolled in summer orientation classes in the Western Michigan University Office of Diversity and Inclusion to help them make the transition from high school to college. Students who reach proficiency in the Ujima Sasa! and African Youth Training Circle programs are eligible for a study abroad experience in African cultural immersion.