Project Ujima: Journey to Academic Success

Trip to USC thrills Project Ujima students
Our commitment to boosting student achievement really shows in Project Ujima. This dynamic program is devoted entirely to engaging African-American families in reaching that all-important goal: student academic success.

Project Ujima offers a series of free evening classes for parents and guardians of African-American students.

Classes are moderated by Elneda Shannon, Program Manager at the Harold J. Ballard Parent Center, and Pat Washington, Ph.D., a university professor and scholar both whom are African American. Our program taps the rich diversity of knowledge and experience within African-American communities.

To help busy families take part in our programs, we provide free childcare and free dinner in many of our classes, depending on location. Plus, we offer free homework stations during parent classes, so children can be with their families in a safe environment focused on academics. Spanish translation is provided.

Project Ujima is named for the Kwanzaa principle of collective work and responsibility, and it is in that spirit we involve the community. Ujima is the third of the seven principals behind the annual seven-day holiday celebrating African-American culture. And just like the holiday, our program makes raising student academic success something to celebrate.

District Wins Grant to Boost African-American Student Achievement

Success storyA new grant from Target Foundation will support San Diego Unified School District efforts to boost African-American student achievement by strengthening family involvement in schools.

The $50,000 grant will enable expansion of outreach to more schools and families, and provide ambitious programs -- such as taking district students and their families to visit college campuses. Read more»


Ballard logo Elneda Shannon
Program Manager
(619) 293-4431