Tapestry of Faith: The Wi$dom Path: An Adult Program on Money, Spirit, and Life

Alternate Activity 2: Ujamaa, Cooperative Economics (45 minutes)

Part of The Wi$dom Path

Materials for Activity

  • Website of Eshu Bumpus, storyteller, who shares folktales from Africa
  • Website of Kwanzaa Culinarians, a group of food bloggers of African descent collaborating together to share recipes and stories celebrating Kwanzaa.
  • Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture: the official Kwanzaa website
  • Table for eating and conversation, plates, utensils, napkins, glasses and other necessary dining items

Preparation for Activity

  • Enlist participants in helping prepare Kwanzaa food to share. Recipes and ingredients can be found at Kwanzaa Culinarians.
  • Prepare to share information about Kwanzaa with those for whom it is unfamiliar, or invite one of your participants to do so.
  • Prepare to tell the folktale, The Feast, found on the website of storyteller Eshu Bumpus.
  • Set out plates, napkins, and utensils, and prepare a table for eating and conversation

Description of Activity

This activity is appropriate if your group includes people who celebrate Kwanzaa. It invites participants to explore the ways in which Ujamaa, cooperative economics, the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, calls people to creative, interdependent economic models.

Invite those who celebrate Kwanzaa to share something about its observance and meaning. Tell participants that you are going to focus on the fourth principle, Ujamaa. Invite participants to serve themselves from the food that has been brought and then gather at the table. Light the chalice (or Kwanzaa candles if it is the appropriate time of year). Read or share the story, “The Feast,” and invite reflection:

  • Do you recognize yourself at all in the stingy guests at the feast?
  • How does this story call us from stinginess to abundance?

Then, as you feast, explore together how the Kwanzaa principle, Ujamaa, asks us to answer some of the same questions asked at the beginning of the workshop:

  • What does it mean to you to have enough to survive? Beyond financial resources, what is important for you to thrive?
  • How can we assure that all members of our community have the financial, spiritual, and/or community/family support and resources that allow them to thrive?

Together, clean the dishes and restore the space.