UMOJA [OO-mo-jah] is Swahili for unity. As one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, many African Americans have centered the value of unity in their families, communities, and in the entirety of the African American race. We believe that our UMOJA MN Black Heritage Camp honors this value as we pursue the unity of all races.

UMOJA MN inspires families to reflect on the beautiful ways African Americans have contributed to the development of humanity. We believe that by intentionally reflecting on the ingenuity and artistry of people of color from both the past and present, families are empowered to raise children of color who are proud of the skin they are in.

We believe that representation offers long-term psychological benefits for all people. For minorities, racial representation is rare. UMOJA MN offers an opportunity for youth to be led, taught by, and build relationships with teachers, care-takers, and community members of color. We are also proud of the way that UMOJA MN cultivates relationships amidst transracial families, encouraging parents to continue conversations around race and adoption long after their weekend long experience.

Transracial adoptees should be raised not only to be comfortable in their adoptive homes but also to be able to enter and thrive in a society that still perceives or judges individuals and their abilities on the basis of their skin color…Therefore, in addition to love, providing transracial adoptees early in their lives with the tools that will teach them to value who they are as adoptees and people with a rich cultural heritage is essential.”

– Rhonda M. Roorda; In Their Voices: Black American’s on Transracial Adoption.