Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration of African heritage within African American culture. It is observed from December 26 to January 1 and includes 7 principles  (one for each day) that represent the core values and concepts reflective of African culture and community building.

Day 1: Umoja — Unity

To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Make a commitment to practice unity in all aspects of your life.

Day 2: Kujichagulia — Self-Determination

To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Make a commitment to be unique and not to give in to stereotypes. Don’t be defined by the world. Instead, forge a new path from the destiny set before you.

Day 3: Ujima — Collective Work and Responsibility

To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.

Teamwork makes the dream work. Make a commitment to be selfless and to help each other, even if it costs you something.

Day 4: Ujamaa — Cooperative Economics

To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Prosperity was never meant to be hoarded. Make a commitment to build and to share in the economic prosperity of your community.

Day 5: Nia — Purpose

To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Greatness isn’t achieved alone. It’s done collectively on the foundations built by those who have come before us and those who work alongside us. Make a commitment to live with intent and purpose at being great and helping others to be great as well.

Day 6: 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.

Everyone has a part to play in giving life to each other, both individually and collectively. Make a commitment to be a genuine creative force in your community.

Day 7: Imani — Faith

To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Nothing moves us forward like faith — belief in God, in ourselves, and in each other. Make a commitment to stand firm in your faith and to always see the best in the people around you.


Learn more about Kwanzaa at these resources.