Umoja10- Building a Land Reform Movement at University of Miami


Support the Umoja10 Commemoration

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In commemoration of the 10 year anniversary of the founding of the Umoja Village Shantytown, a series of community celebrations culminates with a presentation about land, gentrification and social movements in the United States. In addition to brief remarks by local organizations, Max Rameau will present on behalf of Take Back the Land on Wednesday, October 26th at the University of Miami’s Richter Library, on the third floor, beginning at 6:30pm. Event details, as well as videos, photos and more about the Umoja Village can be found at TakeBacktheLand.org.

On October 23, 2006, in the wake of a brutal cycle of gentrification impacting Miami’s Black communities and the scathing Miami Herald ‘House of Lies’ series exposing county corruption that exacerbated the housing crisis, a group calling itself Take Back the Land utilized a little known city of Miami law to seize control over the vacant lot on the corner of 62nd St. and NW 17th Ave., building an urban shantytown, housing otherwise homeless people and modeling Black led radical campaigns years before Occupy Wall Street.

The Umoja Village became a community institution, offering free housing, food and clothing and served as an example of Black Power. After housing approximately 150 people, the Umoja Village fell to a mysterious fire that many believe was set by the city of Miami. After the fire, Take Back the Land continued it’s vision of land reform by breaking into numerous foreclosed homes and moving families into them, an evolution that made national news and led to a national network of organizations doing the same.

The commemoration is co-sponsored by the Miami Workers Center, Women in Leadership, the Dream Defenders, Seed305 and the Center for Pan-African Development. The University of Miami event is sponsored by the University of Miami Libraries- Special Collections, the Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the American Studies Program.

In spite of numerous promises to build housing on the property, the land on which the Umoja Village stood- 62nd St. and NW 17th Ave., remains vacant and fenced in 10 years later.

RSVP for a seat at the event at eventbrite.com/e/housing-activism-in-miami-tickets-28664760069