Our Mission

Kuluntu Bakery seeks to co-create a food system and industry that dismantles patriarchy. When we center marginalized voices, we build stronger communities. 

What does Kuluntu mean and how do we achieve our mission?

The meaning of “kuluntu” is “community” in isiXhosa, a South African language of the amaXhosa. Kuluntu is a nonprofit cottage bakery, which means that we have a social mission and work at a growing scale from our home. We are currently undergoing a community-centric program development process which you can read more about here.

Videography by Wayfarist Media

Shared Goal

Our goal is to open a brick and mortar bakery and community space that will be focused on building stronger communities through a more just food system which dismantles patriarchy and centers marginalized voices.

Core Commitments

  • Community: We intend to cultivate spaces that encourage belonging, connection and collaboration. We want every voice to be heard and considered as we seek change. 
  • Radical love: Despite our individual beliefs and differences, we must center our humanity and choose to love each other. By doing so, we believe we will make better decisions and policies that consider us all.
  • Transformative justice: We are committed to transitioning away from traditional, prescriptive pathways towards change and instead utiltizing community (human) centered methods to achieve justice for all. 
  • Transparency: We aim to invite and engage our consumers, partners and supporters in our operations to increase our mutual understanding of the food system and dismantle unjust and unsustainable practices.
  • Ubuntu – Interdependence: Ubuntu means “I am because we are.” We want to create a collective ownership that requires us all to work together to create the world we want to see. The experience of one affects us all. 
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Photo by Kelsey Foster Photography

Kuluntu & Ubuntu

The meaning of “kuluntu” is “community” in isiXhosa, a South African language of the amaXhosa. We are inspired by the African philosophy of Ubuntu which means “humanity” and is often translated to mean “I am because you are”. 

Kuluntu holds radical Ubuntu as a core value which guides our decisions and practices. Radical Ubuntu is best encapsulated by the everyday people who survive, thrive, and build communities with one another despite relentless systemic barriers. 

Radical Ubuntu is a way of life that centers human dignity, interdependence, complexity, and liberation across the ways we think, interact, institutionalize, and structure. Radical Ubuntu begins from the premise that I cannot be who you are, and you cannot be who I am until the structures that divide and dehumanize us are transformed. As a lens and practice, radical Ubuntu incorporates and honors nine dimensions*:

  • Umphefumlo – our breath (our breath, centered in the earth, is our starting point)

  • Umzimba – our body (we practice deep love for our bodies and we promote radical belonging in all meanings attached to our beings) 

  • Umqondo – our mind (we use our minds to think critically, intentionally, and imaginatively)

  • Inhliziyo – our hearts (we lead with love, heart and courage)

  • Ulwini – our language (we use language to build transformative connections)

  • Unembeza – our conscience (we practice ethical, collective decision making that accounts for past, present and future generations)

  • Umoya – our soul (we practice generational soul healing together)

  • Amandla – our individual and collective power (we transform through collective power building)

Radical Ubuntu as a way of living is transformative and adds richness to life. It places the importance of the collective above individual needs and wants. We are inspired to co-build this way of life with you as our local and global community.

*Ubuntu is an ancient and life-giving Afrocentric way of life. The dimensions shared above reflect a subset of many aspects of Ubuntu. 

We honor the wisdom of the ancestors, and those whose example guides our process. Thank you to the work of Sisonke Msimang, Eusebius Mckaiser, Pumla Gqola, Mfuniselwa Bhengu, Mokobe Ramose, Moeketsi Letsheka, Thaddeus Metz, Stanlake Samkange, the ancestors Rev. Desmond Tutu, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, and Tata Rolihlala Mandela.