In 2009, a group of leaders in the St. Paul African-American community, including the St. Paul Chief of Police, the Executive Director of the St. Paul YWCA, a St. Paul City Council Member and several members of the Black Ministerial Alliance and the Council on Black Minnesotans, identified that there was a significant gap in social welfare delivery system and programming for this population in Saint Paul, which needed immediate attention. The organizers realized that without intervention from a program like Ujamaa Place, this would be a “lost generation” of young men who die at a young age or are incarcerated for most of their lives.
The Vision of Ujamaa Place is to foster the development of young African American men to become strong, responsible, employed, prosperous men and fathers who provide and contribute positively to the community.
Ujamaa Place trained coaches develop high-context relationships that are individualized for each participant, rather than applying a prescribed approach to all. Coaches have often overcome similar obstacles in their own lives, providing inspiration and models of empowerment for participants.
We were engaged (on a pro bono basis), to develop a Brand Strategy that would focus on strengthening the relationship donors have with Ujamaa Place. We began with qualitative interviews with leaders of foundations, governmental agencies and individuals in order to understand their perceptions of Ujamaa Place and competitive non-profits.
We then identified the future target donor, based on insights into their underlying needs and motivations. Lastly, we determined how we wanted the Ujamaa Place brand to evolve in the future, and created an emotional Brand Promise that was compelling, believable and distinct, in order to increase donor investment over the long term.
- Otis Zanders, CEO & President
- Kedar Hickman, COO
- Linda Mahoney, Advancement Director
- Matt Hill, Senior Advisor
- Trace Polzin, Administrative Assistant
- Rick Heydinger, Ujamaa Place Board Member, Public Strategies Group (Retired)
- Reverend Judith Ragir, Ujamaa Place Board Member, Clouds in Water Zen Center, Senior Dharma Teacher
- Debbie Estes, Tunheim
- Monique Linder, Founder/CEO, OMG Media Solutions