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Community Makers Local Fair Trade | Ujamma Collective

Grantee: Ujamma Collective
Project Name: Community Makers Local Fair Trade
Healthy Neighborhood Focus Area: Quality of Life
Amount: $15,000

To provide cultural connections and entrepreneurial exploration through practical art and making activities for teens and young adults, with a focus on African American females.

This project builds upon Ujamma’s ongoing focus around identifying and affirming the value of Africana makers/artisans who primarily come from marginalized communities in our local region and global family, as well as their respective crafts. In addition, this project also answers the current concentration on developing grassroots cooperative crafting groups using creative interests matched with some of the proven strategies of the global fair trade movement. Ujamaa Collective has worked with refugee and immigrant African populations to bring clothing and art décor from their respective homes, along with the local African American community, and several fair trade organizations and social enterprises located around the world. In November of 2015, we launched our first Ujamaa-branded line of skirts and accessories called Royal Roots Collection. Royal Roots was birthed among Ujamaa’s members and a partnership with an NGO based in Karagwe, Tanzania in East Africa. Designed locally, the skirts were produced over a two week trip in a fair trade exchange of labor with women and youth learning sewing skills as a strategy to reduce poverty in their global community. It is our intention to continue building upon this relationship, applying for Fair Trade certification and bringing an international flair into our local Pittsburgh market. This experience has helped shape what we see as possible here in Pittsburgh.

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