The stench of violence, bigotry, and hatred has surfaced at a high school within Jersey City. Suffice it to say, this episode has created tension and anxiety within our community. The “Seven Principles of Kwanzaa” serve as a guiding light for us to work together to eliminate these instances of intolerance.
Umoja (Unity) encourages us to maintain and sustain an omnipotent, unyielding bound. The unity of a community in its dedicated efforts to eradicate prejudice and bigotry is the strongest defense against the horrible specter of hatred.
Kujichaguila (Self-Determination) reminds us that the occurrences of violence and hatred in Jersey City are an offense to everyone in the community. This principle reinforces the concept that we — as a self-determined people — define who we are. And, as a strongly united people, we loudly denounce all forms of bigotry and hatred.
Ujima (Collective Responsibility) is our guide to support the community. This principle helps us to nurture an esprit de corps among all members of the community. It unifies us in our righteous struggle against violence, ignorance, and intolerance.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) strengthens our conviction to cooperate in order to build a vibrant, viable community. Those who preach separation and foster an agenda of hatred have no place in our community.
Nia (Purpose) enables the community. It fortifies the concept that everyone contributes to the success of the community. It takes meaningful communication, robust coordination, sincere collaboration and unyielding cooperation to conceive, create, maintain and sustain a community undaunted by discrimination, prejudices, and hatred.
Kuumba (Creativity) emphasizes the need to continuously learn and improve; to leave the community more beautiful and beneficial for our posterity.
Imani (Faith) is the universal thread that is woven throughout the previous six principles. Without the sincere belief that we can make endearing and enduring changes to our community, then, regrettably, we have nothing,
It is my hope that the principles of Kwanzaa help us to emerge even stronger in our struggle to end all forms of bigotry, hatred, ignorance, and intolerance.
John Di Genio