Feature: The Last Fourteen Years

Celebrations are a time to enjoy your accomplishments and reflect on the journey. The magazine’s foundation was always to uphold our community by sharing stories of our “everyday heroes.” I wanted to have our stories told from a positive perspective to show how we are a part of the world with hopes and dreams as everyone else. Our culture matters. Our history and legacy are essential for future generations. I feel Ujima is a vehicle to ensure our history is continued. 

In 2008, I quit my job and started Ujima Magazine. I asked my sister Mary if she would help me and it grew from there. I wanted to write stories about people who are making a difference. I wanted their stories to inspire others. The Villager and The Nokoa newspapers were my inspiration. Thanks to Mr.Tommy Wyatt and the late Mr. Akwasi Evans.

I have had failures but I learned from them. Because Ujima Magazine is my business and my passion. I’m always working, along with my team,  to make Ujima better. So what does success look like to me? It looks like a magazine that continues to tell stories and uplift our Black Community. I can work a full-time job and come home and write, promote, interview, and stay up late to get it all done.  Yes, I know you are saying “what about being profitable?” I say yes, it is important but I’m not gonna let that stop me from keeping my dream and passion going because I feel it is important to tell our stories and history.

Over these fourteen years, I have learned many lessons but the things that have stuck with me throughout this journey are:

*Believe in yourself and your dream. 

*Build a team that believes in your mission.

*Be different. You don’t have to do what everyone else does. 

*Invest in all the tools you need to be successful.

*Never stop learning. 

*You have to be flexible. Things change all the time.

Ujima Magazine is a digital community magazine. We are reaching more people and our readership continues to grow. We are currently working to improve our social media presence, re-launch our podcast, and get more involved in community activities and community service. 

As the Editor-in-Chief, I enjoy talking with people and sharing their stories. There is always something to learn from another person’s journey. As I celebrate this year’s birthday, I am very proud of the magazine. I’m proud of the work we have done in celebrating our Black community and our Black people.

My team and I thank all our followers and readers of Ujima Magazine. Please follow us on Twitter @UjimaMagazine, Facebook @Ujima Magazine, and Instagram @Ujimamagazine1

Help us celebrate by sharing the link to this issue with friends and family and on your social media feeds.

Damita Miller-Shanklin


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