About UMN

UMN is rewriting the rules of black politics in Massachusetts, mobilizing some of the state’s poorest citizens to push for their share of the pie.  They work for equity, not just equality.”  Boston Magazine ”

— Boston Magazine

Founded in 2002, UMN is committed to fully engaging and training communities of color to be active participants rebuilding their communities.  We use active participants as opposed to outsiders telling folks what to do – it is called civic engagement these days.

UMN’s efforts are designed to strengthen democracy and to rebuild communities of color which continue to be pummeled by the pernicious effects of racism and resulting lack of economic, social and educational opportunity. We are on the receiving end of legislation, public policies and discriminating practices.
We are organizers, creating power in our communities.

We are trainers, building the skills of activists and developing new leaders.

UMN is about building power, not currying favor.  UMN is about changing systems and policies that hurt the poor and the powerless.  In their thirst for justice, UMN afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.

— Rev. Canon  Ed Rodman, Professor, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge

We are technical advisors, building the capacity of organizations to develop successful campaigns.

People and communities working together have and will make a difference. Our collective clout represents millions of voters and billions of dollars. Our collective power will renew hope and neighborhoods.

The UMN Board of Directors forms policy, helps focus direction, assists with fundraising and is comprised of activists who have been involved in the UMN’s various activities. Many of the members of our board help with training.


UMN has provided technical support to:

  • All of Us or None
  • American Bar Association
  • Blackfoot National
  • Council of State Governments
  • Greater New Orleans Grassroots Community Coalition
  • National Alliance of Cape Verdean Organizations
  • Peace Development Fund
  • State of California
  • US Congressional Progressive Caucus

Our work would not be possible without the following support:

  • Access Strategies Fund
  • AJ Muste Foundation
  • Andrus Family Fund
  • Ben & Jerry’s Foundation
  • The Boston Foundation
  • Boston Women’s Fund
  • Burgess Urban Fund
  • Center for Labor and Education
  • City of Boston
  • Public Welfare Foundation
  • Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation
  • CBRB Cares
  • Mass Humanities
  • Claretian Social Development Fund
  • Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation
  • Foley Hoag Foundation
  • Fund for a Just Society
  • Haymarket People’s Fund
  • Genevieve McMillan- Reba Stewart Foundation
  • Hyams Foundation
  • Peace Development Fund
  • Twenty-First Century Foundation
  • The Lenny Zakim Fund
  • Pew Foundation
  • Threshold Foundation