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Umoja Means ‘Unity’: RHouse

Two Bed-Stuy brothers exemplify the principle of unity.
Rusty and River Fields. Photo: Jonathan Mora for BK Reader

Sunday, Dec. 26, marks the first day of Kwanzaa, a seven-day celebration during which families and communities focus on a different principle at the root of African culture.

On the first day, the focus is on umoja, or unity of family, community, nation and race. Umoja inspires us to join together in solidarity and celebrate our oneness and pride in our African heritage. It speaks to the need to enlarge our circle and build our community. 

Brothers Rusty and Rivers Field offer a unique and perhaps a model example of Umoja. In July, the two started RHouse, what may be the first Black hackers residency.  Housed in a Bed-Stuy brownstone gifted to them by their parents, RHouse is a place where Black engineers, founders, creators and their allies can live and work on their latest tech projects.

“There’s a lot of talent among Black founders, creators and their allies,” said River. “But we noticed there was no place pooling that talent into one space and one community where they could feel comfortable bringing their full selves into the environment.” 

“[I]t was really important for us to create this intentional space where you can bring your full, authentic self in an environment that nurtures you professionally and personally,” Rusty said.

While resident technologists make their own way to the house, their accommodations and food are free.

Umoja is an intention and value for these brothers. BK Reader reported on the pair and RHouse earlier in the year.  Here is a link to that report.

Beginning on Sunday, December 26, and for the seven days of Kwanzaa, BK Reader will feature a different local resident or organization that exemplifies one of the seven principles!


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