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Habari gani? (What is the news?)

Umoja! (Unity!)

Kwanzaa is my favorite time of year…

So much so that in 2021, I set the Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of Kwanzaa) as my guide and aspiration for social wellness for the New Year. Nguzo Saba 365!

What’s the big deal about Kwanzaa?

Being built on the Nine Dimensions of Wellness, here at Mahogany Manifesto, we find freedom in frameworks, not restriction.

Kwanzaa is an annually designated time each year to reflect on your contributions to society, to explore your individual gifts, and to contemplate how you can use your knowledge and skills to empower yourself and others.

While anyone can honor and learn about Kwanzaa, it was designed to be celebrated by Black/African American families. There is an overarching tone in the Nguzo Saba that emphasizes the personal in the political and vice versa. That same thought is applied to self-care in the Mahogany Manifesto sphere of reach and influence. As a community that has been subjected to brutality, manipulation, and oppression, caring for and nurturing our bodies, our minds, our complex identities, our families and our communities is collectively an act of political warfare, just like Audre Lorde told us.

To dare to break away from toxic cultures that aim to TAKE our time, talent, and treasure, and instead, turn to life-GIVING principles and circles — that’s boldness in action!

Live Boldly!

As we leave 2021 and move into 2022, commit to self-reflection. Commit to intentionality. 

Choose one of the seven principles below for meditation or embrace all seven. Make this a year of prolonged celebration and learning.

  • Umoja (unity)—To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (self-determination)—To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (collective work and responsibility)—To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (cooperative economics)—To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (purpose)—To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (creativity)—To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (faith)—To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Here’s an idea…

Carve out time to go through the both the Nine Dimensions of Wellness and the Nguzo Saba. On the fifth or sixth day of Kwanzaa, channel your reflections into creative energy and make a vision board!

I’m hosting a vision board party with a small group of friends to celebrate Nia (purpose).

With the The Daily Manifesto planner-journal being undated, you don’t have to buy it only at the beginning of the year. However, it complements New Year’s resolutions and annual goal setting especially because the 12 month versions have a built-in vision board! See the alignment?

Check out your options!

Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

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