Thanks to Emerald Cities Collaborative for being our fiscal sponsor and temporarily hosting our landing page. Website coming soon!

For details about artist showcase jump to this section.

We invite you to explore the journey with us below. 

Our Belief

Ubuntu: an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’, 

often translated as  “I am Because You/We Are”


We are responding to the call from our ancestors to return balance to our environment. They tell us that all is not well. They are asking for our help to return our environment and our community to a state of harmony and balance. They tell us that it is NOT too late; the time is NOW.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African proverb)

Our Values

Nyansapo - Wisdom. A symbol of wise leadership, ingenuity and intelligence. It conveys the idea that ‘a wise person has the capacity to choose the best means to attain a goal’ thereby rejecting false solutions to climate change

Sankofa (alt) - Go back and fetch it. Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The literal translation of the word and the symbol is “it is not taboo to fetch what you forgot that is at risk of being left behind.” It asks us to look back to our ancestral earth-affirming beliefs, values, and practices to learn from it to move forward.

Wawa Aba - Seed of the wawa tree. A symbol of hardiness, perseverance, and strength. It symbolizes the strength needed for transformative change.

*These are all Adinkra symbols from the Akan tribe in Ghana.

Our Vision

We envision a joyful world. One that celebrates our ‘Oneness’ and recognizes our interdependence with each other and mother earth. A world in which investments in relationships and communities are valued above material resources.

Our Mission

Catalyze a Climate movement rooted in Ubuntu values dedicated to the Commons, restorative economies and lifestyles. Through the cultural reweaving of traditional, ancestral, and innovative African and pan-indigenous communal world views, values, and practices. 

who we are

We are a U.S. based, global network of African and Pan Indigenous creatives, community leaders and organizations, academics, and all allies working to rebuild our relationships with each other and nature to mitigate and adapt to climate change by advancing eco–centered vs. ego-centered cultures, knowledge, policies, and practices.


We are reclaiming our Afro-descendent and Pan-indigenous practices and knowledge, we believe our greatest act of love and contribution is to steward Mother Earth’s regeneration, heal our communities, re-story our current consumer-based, ego-centered world-view to the story that understands and celebrates interdependence, cooperation and interspecies harmony. 


We are a mycelial network of leadership, talent, knowledge and community. 

We have been here for a long time. 

We are ready


“I am because you/we are”


I/We ___________ support the Ubuntu Climate Initiative to heal both people and the planet by targeting

the cultural underpinnings of our climate crisis and building a movement for the cultural reparation of

destroyed traditional communal belief systems, values, and practices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, rural

communities as an asset to climate mitigation and adaptation for the most vulnerable.

Get Rooted in the Ubuntu Movement

We are delighted to announce the inaugural THE UBUNTU CLIMATE INITIATIVE’S 2024 CLIMATE ARTS AND STORY-TELLING Showcase. Help us spark the Ubuntu Climate Movement on various media platforms.

“Shamans say the Village Heart can grow a brand-new World House if it is well-dressed in the  layered clothing of each indigenous soul’s magic sound, ancestral songs and indigenous ingenuity”

– Martin Prechtel

OUR Call:  I am because we are…..

We are here to invite you to share….

Images/songs that reimagine ideas of work, wealth, well-being or our relationship to food, land, energy and Mother Earth.

Your expression of the connection of the spiritual/sacred, ancestral, and natural world as a force for abundance and thriving

A short story of Remembrance that calls in new and old communal practices.  

A song that initiates a new harmony.

Your ART as a reflection of your community.

A spoken word piece that ignites joy, laughter and/or deeper healing and beauty through grief.

A Dance that embodies ancient or new remembering and connection.

A Return. A Release. A Healing.

A conversation (ex: from the ancient trees, the falcon, the mountain, the grasshopper, the jaguar or maybe the hummingbird) that evokes new beginnings and remembering.

Youth sharing their wisdom, humor and play.

Elders (Grandmothers, grandfathers, Aunties) remembering key ancestral knowing.

     (All offered as examples)


YOUR Response:

Through a VISUAL medium form of a short film, animation, photo scape/collage with sound or words, personal video, spoken word or recording. No longer than 5 min.

Prompt: Ubuntu, I am because we are….

Submission Period: January 15th – March 15

We are looking to hear the response of creatives to our call “Ubuntu, I am because, we are”. Tell us a story  about  a joyful world, celebrating  ‘Oneness’, recognizing our interdependence with each other and mother earth. 

Share your journey, ancestral stories, traditions and practices. Show how music, painting, sculpting, gardening, dance, a poem, or other creative and generative activities represent the meaning of “Oneness” 

Open to everybody with the unique categories: Women, Elders (over 55), Returning Citizens, and Youth (under 25) – each providing

First Place: $10,000

Second Place: $5,000

Third Place: $2,500

And Five Honorable Mentions: $500

MORE INFORMATION (check all that applies):


OUR advisors

Denise Fairchild, Ph.D

2021 Climate Breakthrough Awardee President Emeritus, Emerald Cities Collaborative

Jacqui Patterson

Founder and Executive Director of the Chisholm Legacy Project Legacy Project

Afia Zakiya Ph.D

Water Infrastructure, Environment & Climate Justice; WASH & Public Health Expert

Colette Battle

Vision & Initiatives Partner for Taproot Earth, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy

Dayna Cunningham

Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of Tufts University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

Tara Marchant

Writer, Storyteller, Creative, sound/song alchemist, council holder for healing and meditaion. With fifteen years as a Non-profit Director in the Green Economy, Community Resilience and policy forums.

Hunter Jones

Multidisciplinary Creative & Storyteller Eco-Communicator at Emerald Cities Collaborative

Elfleda Utiaruk

Project Coordinator for the Ubuntu Climate Initiative Project, Visual Artist & Healer

Mary Lee

Consultant, Attorney, and Community Advocate


Education Circle:

Dr. Joyce King

Founder of Guardians of Heritage youth civic leadership collaborative


Dr. Wade Noble

Professor Emeritus, Black Psychology and Africana Studies, San Francisco State University


Candace Hollingsworth

Director of Programs, Corps Network


Angelica Mayolo

MIT Mel King Fellow and MIT Environmental Solutions consultant,

Former Minister of Culture of Columbia


Rosa Garcia

Executive Director of The Community Learning Partnership


Martin Kalungu

Founder of Presencing Lab and faculty at the Presencing Institute at MIT


Ali Moussa Iye

Founder of Afropectives


Douglas Edwards

Co-Founder of The Revitalize STEAM Greenhouse Program 


Dr. Melissa Spreight Vaughn, Ph.D.

Vice President of Public Discourse & Engagement, Africa Center for Strategy & Policy


Dr. Folami Prescott-Adams

Lead Facilitator, CREATE

(Advisors: Afia Zakiya)

Cultural Arts Circle:

Mustafa Ali

Executive Vice President, National Wildlife Federation


Sterling Cunio

Spoken word poet, 

Arts for Social Justice  Fellow and Oregon Literary Arts Fellow


Pat Prescott

Radio Personality, WBGO

(Advisors: Hunter Jones, Tara Marchant, Elfleda Utiaruk)

Alternative Economies Circle:

Omar Brownson

LA Community Gardens Director and Full Spectrum

Co-host of the Gratitude Blooming Podcast


Sonia Kikeri

National Director Of Policy And Civic Engagement at Emerald Cities Collaborative


Ife Kilimanjaro, Ph.D.

Incoming Executive Director, US Climate Action Network 


Maria Stamas

Energy Justice Attorney and Strategist. 

Founder and Principal at EnerGaia Consulting LLC


Yorman Nunez

Co-founder of 20 Moves & Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative


Desiree Williams-Rajee

Founder, Kapwa Consulting and PolicyLink Fellow

(Advisors – Mary Lee, Dayna Cunningham, Colette Battle, Jacqui Patterson)