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Meet Tendaji Ubunifu Ya’Ukuu, Kelly Street Fellow

Tendaji Ubunifu Ya’Ukuu joined our team as our Kelly Street Fellow in September 2018. Get to know more about him:

 

How did you get connected with The LP?

I got connect with The LP as a Center for Neighborhood Leadership (CNL) apprentice.

 

What are you most excited about as you begin your time at The LP?

I’m excited to be working with an organization that not only deals with combating a multitude of issues that exist within marginalized communities, but does it in a way that empowers, uplifts, and supports artists and organizers within The Bronx.

 

What is your favorite… film?

Black Panter

…album?

Tales From A Scorpio by Cameron J

…food?

Soul Food

Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?

An artist that has inspired me is Jacob Lawrence. He was an African-American painter known for his portrayal of African-American life. The aspect of his work that really impacted me was his dedication to emphasizing and encapsulating the lived experiences of African Americans in periods of time when we faced many racist institutions and systems; and did it in a way that gave our existence meaning and essence.

 

In what neighborhood do you currently live in?

Wakefield

Where do you do your laundry?

MGM Laundromat- Wakefield

 

In your opinion, why does art matter?

For me personally art matters because, art is one of the most effective ways to communicate culturally, communally, creatively and linguistically. Art is such a hub for community building, communication, expression, and so much more. Its impact as visual rhetoric is so immense that not many other forms of communication match its significance to humanity. Without art so many stories wouldn’t have been told, cultures wouldn’t have been passed on, and people wouldn’t have been impacted and influenced. It’s so powerful and complex and yet can also be so simple and spontaneous.

 

Tendaji Ya’Ukuu joins The LP as Kelly Street Fellow through the Center for Neighborhood Leadership (CNL) apprentice and focuses on supporting community-led decision making and activism. A Bronx Native, Tendaji, even from a young age has a passion and drive for activism and advocacy, focusing on issues like Black Liberation, LGBTQ+ Rights, and Environmental Justice. He/They have been part of organizations like PSOL & BxMpowerment and is continuing to work alongside impactful community organizers to bring about significant change. You can follow him at @reactivebidesign.

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