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The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies’ GalleryDAAS presents:

"To build and maintain our community together and to make our Brother's and sister's problems, our problems and to solve them together."

UJIMA: Collective Work and Responsibility

"To build and maintain our community together and to make our brothers’ and sisters’  problems, our problems and to solve them together."

Ujima is a Kiswahili word indicating that we are collectively responsible for one another, particularly as we work together. It indicates a commitment to being active and living by a principle of shared or collective work and responsibility that is beneficial to the community.  Ujima is also recognized as the third principle of the Nguzo Saba, typically celebrated during Kwanzaa, an African diasporic cultural festival created during the  late 1960s by Maulana Karenga.

It is a commitment to active and informed togetherness on matters of common interest. It is also recognition and respect of the fact that without collective work and struggle, progress is impossible and liberation unthinkable. In other words, our collective identity in the long run is a collective future. Thus, there is a need and obligation for us as self-conscious and committed people to shape our future with our own minds and hands and share its hardships and benefits together.


Definition written with material contributed by:


About GalleryDAAS

GalleryDAAS exhibits contemporary black visual art. Collaborating with artists, curators, critics and art historians as well as with DAAS/U-M faculty and students, the gallery celebrates and interrogates the creativity of artists of Africa and its diasporas, not only in our exhibitions, but through our artist residency program and by offering gallery-based learning opportunities for DAAS and the broader U-M community.

GalleryDAAS presents two to three exhibitions a year during the fall and winter semesters. The gallery is located on the ground floor of Haven Hall in Room G648.

For more information, please contact us at