Live Q&A: Solidarity Economy - Can Loans Be Ethical?

Boston Ujima Project

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 | 6-7pm ET
This is a free event.
Join Boston Ujima Project’s Fund & Business Alliance team for a live Q&A to learn about ethical (non-extractive) loans.

It’s hard to believe that teenagers are allowed (even encouraged!) to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt, but it’s nearly impossible for creatives to get ethical loans for their small businesses. In response, there are many working-class, queer, and BIPOC creatives following culturally-rooted economic practices to remake the ways we access money. What happens when this scales up beyond a neighborhood or a close group of friends? In their course on CreativeStudy, Boston Ujima Project team members discuss racist and often predatory lending practices in the United States and introduce non-extractive funds, an important piece of the Solidarity Economy movement because they place people and the planet over profit.

During this Q&A, Boston Ujima Project’s Fund & Business Alliance team will present a vivid description of Ujima and its Good Business Alliance, connection to creatives, and underlying motivation. They will be able to answer questions concerning why these funds are necessary, the challenges and triumphs of non-extractive lending, and how they made their intentions a reality. They will also answer questions on their vision for the future and how you might be able to get involved in your community.


The Boston Ujima Project is a democratic, member-run organization building cooperative economic infrastructure in Boston, with a mission to return wealth to working-class communities of color. Ujima was born from a shared desire for real solutions to racial wealth inequality, poverty, unemployment, and displacement in our neighborhoods. The Ujima team includes: Nia K. Evans, Cierra Peters, JaNoah Daley, Andre Bennett, and Yusuf Alamutu

Nia Evans is the Executive Director of the Boston Ujima Project. Her educational background is in the areas of labor relations, education leadership, and policy. Her advocacy includes a focus on eliminating barriers between analysts and people with lived experiences as well as increasing acknowledgment of the value of diverse types of expertise in policy. She is a co-creator, along with artist Tomashi Jackson, of Frames Debate Project, a multimedia policy debate project that explores the intersection between drug policy, mental health services, and incarceration in the state of Massachusetts. Ms. Evans has a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in Education Leadership, with a course of study in Leadership, Policy, and Politics from Teachers College at Columbia University. She also studied abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where she focused on International Labor Relations.

Cierra Peters is an artist currently based in Boston, MA, and Brooklyn, NY. She is currently the Director of Communications, Culture, and Enfranchisement at the Boston Ujima Project. She has given talks at deCordova Sculpture Park, The Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS), Tufts Art Galleries, Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of California, Berkeley.

JaNoah Daley is the Fund Administrator for Boston Ujima Project. He studied Finance at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he received his B.S. degree from the Charlton College of Business. Previously, he was an Accountant at the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation. He currently resides in Cambridge, MA, and enjoys working out in his free time.

Andre Bennett is the Business Alliance Coordinator for Ujima Boston. An active and passionate advocate for marginalized communities in his personal and professional life, Andre is a licensed and Board-Certified Psychoanalyst, who works primarily with immigrants and BIPOC families. He holds a Masters degree in Community and Social Psychology and a PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis from UMass Lowell & Endicott College as well as a Doctor of Theology in Christian Education and a Doctor Ministry in Pastoral Counseling and Leadership from Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary and Newburgh Theological Seminary.

Yusuf Alamutu is a graduate of Umass Lowell with a bachelor's degree in Finance and Marketing. Yusuf has always been a hard worker and will continue to be. He is a true believer that you can do anything you set your mind to with hard work and consistency.