I had the opportunity to spend some time at the new Ujamaa Community Bookstore last week and was positively, absolutely, thoroughly impressed! Yes, it was amazing to see many books from Enhanced DNA Publishing authors on the shelves, but there was SO MUCH MORE than that! Enjoy this look inside the walls of the new bookstore but realize that the pictures don’t do it justice; you need to visit for yourself.
UJAMAA - COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS:
The new Ujamaa Community Bookstore was a former library that has been turned into an amazing bookstore and is located inside the Flanner House at 2424 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Flanner House and now the Ujamaa Community Bookstore serve as an epicenter of self-reliance and self-sufficiency for those in and around the surrounding neighborhood. Ujamaa, which means “cooperative economics” provides a place of learning through the bookstore stocked with books from every genre, a special children’s book and play section, computer stations, a staging area for poetry and book readings, goods and service section containing products from many minority and black-owned businesses, art and and much, much more!
FOR THE KIDS:
The Children’s section is absolutely adorable – so make sure you bring the kids when you visit. They will LOVE it! One of the featured authors is Carnell Ellison, the winner of the Enhanced DNA Publishing 2020 Young Writer’s Contest. His book, Carnell's Epic Super Hero Story, was published as a result of him winning the contest and he is excited to have his book at the bookstore. He had a great time when he visited the bookstore with his family.
CULTURE AND LITERACY:
A visit to the bookstore bridges culture with literacy. You will be able to experience many different cultures but it especially represents the community in which the bookstore is housed – the black community. The community can see themselves in the books they read and the products they purchase. The bookstore also has amazing programming and an action-packed calendar of events since the space also functions as an all-around cultural meeting place, training and networking facility for anyone who wants to teach or learn. Ujamaa is always looking for new programs, artists, experts and authors to share with the community.
ENHANCED DNA PUBLISHING BOOKS:
On my visit, I wanted to view some of the Enhanced DNA Publishing books and as I was taking pictures, I struck up a conversation with two of the community members who were visiting for the first time. We had a great time talking – they were excited to meet one of the authors/publishers represented and they ended up purchasing some of our books! THANK YOU!
INDIANA AUTHORS: The Indiana Authors section of the bookstore is specifically designed to highlight local Indiana talent. Do you have a favorite Hoosier author? Check out some of the titles and authors that are featured and if you don’t see your favorite Indiana author, you can make a suggestion for it to be included.
Rohini Townsend, manager of the bookstore, has this message to the community, “The Ujamaa Community Bookstore is curated in such a way that each member of the community feels that it is their own personal bookstore. Everyone is welcome. There is something for each and every one. If you don’t see something that you are interested in, make a suggestion and we will pursue providing it.” Contact Rohini at (317) 925-4231 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denola M. Burton is the Founder and CEO of Enhanced DNA: Develop Nurture Achieve, LLC. Through Enhanced DNA: Develop Nurture Achieve, Denola develops and nurtures individuals and organizations to enhance their Leadership, Communication and Performance “DNA”. Denola is an author and a publisher and has created the Enhanced DNA Publishing Division of her company and now assists new and newer authors in publishing their books according to the IBPA standards.
Denola retired in December, 2017 from Eli Lilly and Company where her career spanned over 27 years. She has been married to her husband, Phillip, for over 27 years and they have two daughters, Danielle and Ciara. Denola is a member of the Recorder Women’s Auxiliary, which is an elite organization comprised of professional Women with a heart for the community. She serves on the Board of Directors for Steward Speakers and also serves as a mentor and member of the Board of Directors for Pass the Torch for Women Foundation.