The world has changed. There is no more business as usual. The invasion of the coronavirus epidemic across the globe has altered day-to-day order and routines. In absence of certainty, we can either panic and worry, or become more focused and just breathe.

I’m choosing the latter, while being mindful of my health and the well-being of others. This is an opportunity for us all to show each other the type of leaders we are, help one another, and remind ourselves of what we can control.

Peace is a place of power.

Taking time to make welfare checks on those we care about is important. Making donations to a favorite charity or small business is suggested. And, self-developing is encouraged.

I admit, initially, it wasn’t easy for me. I had to force myself to turn off stress-inducing news, which is difficult for a news junkie. Secondly, I had to stop greeting people with hugs. Amid the rapid growth of social distancing, I had to quickly reassess my most basic form of social etiquette: saying hello. Now I just smile or politely nod.

Planning this issue required rapid adjustments as well. Typically, this is UMOJA’s annual business and finance issue. While much of the content focuses on building wealth and ways to successfully operate a business, we also incorporated articles to help our readers and supporters through these unpredictable times.

We interviewed members of the delightful Hill family, whose grandfather, John Hill, operated one of the first Black-owned businesses in Madison for nearly 70 years. Read about his secret to success. Also, meet Rachel Warren, the bright student working to get her master’s in social work. She found a special way to embed knowledge of Black culture in loving transracial adoption and foster homes.

Meanwhile, Dr. Alex Gee, lead pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church, writes about why turning to faith in times of chaos is necessary during the coronavirus outbreak. And, Bob Wynn advises ways to sock money away for a rainy day. 

We can get through this together. Please don’t forget to vote and participate in the census.

I’m also asking for your help. We are in the process of providing UMOJA in a digital format. One way to make sure our subscribers continue receiving the publication is by providing an email address for our records. Please take a moment to send your email information to ycraig@umojamagazine.com. Pass the request on to your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. We will continue providing quality information about the accomplishments and landmarks of the Black community.

As we continue to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we would be remiss if we didn’t wish Happy Easter, Passover, or Ramadan. How ever you celebrate the holiday, from our hearts to yours, here’s wishing you a very happy and holy one.   

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