What We Do
We help families advocate for themselves and their children in the juvenile justice system.
Mentoring & Cultural Programming
We want young people to know that they are part of a caring community and come from a rich cultural heritage. That’s why we provide an array of programming in New Orleans’ juvenile jail and prison.
Family Advocacy in Juvenile Court
Court can be intimidating and confusing, so we train Parent Navigators to explain the legal process and help families advocate for themselves and their children.
Parent Leadership & Research
Ubuntu holds regular parent leadership classes and engages families in participatory action research to identify and address issues in the juvenile justice system.
Come hear from advocates who are fighting for the abolition of juvenile fines and fees — and winning. Learn how you too can get involved in the campaign for #DebtFreeJustice in Louisiana and across the country.
Join us on July 30 for a parent resource fair and back-to-school give-away!
Everyone wants the best for their children, but New Orleans only spends 3% of the budget on youth. Our parent leaders are calling on the city to invest more in the resources kids and families need to thrive.
GiveNOLA Day is a 24-hour event hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation to inspire people to give generously to the nonprofits that are helping our city thrive. Please consider giving to Ubuntu Village today! Donate here!
A great opportunity for 18 to 24-year-olds with the Urban League of Louisiana.
Ubuntu Village speaks out against legislation to further punish kids in the juvenile legal system.
In the lead-up to Hurricane Ida in 2021, New Orleans evacuated 36 children from the city’s juvenile jail to an adult prison – a move both dangerous and illegal. Read our open letter to city officials demanding a new evacuation plan to keep our kids safe.
Is your child involved in the juvenile court system? A new law has eliminated some of the costs you can be charged.
The Lens: After George Floyd’s murder, the New Orleans City Council created a committee to hear from ‘historically marginalized communities.’ It never met.
Ubuntu Village director Ernest Johnson says the city has done a disservice to civil rights leader Jerome “Big Duck” Smith, for whom the committee was named.
Read Ubuntu director Ernest Johnson’s op-ed in Nola.com about the need to focus on the root causes of crime.
About Ubuntu Village
MissionUbuntu Village fights for social, economic, and transformational justice for children and communities. We work primarily with families of youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system. We help families advocate for their rights and those of their children by educating them and helping them navigate the juvenile system. At Ubuntu, we believe that those directly affected by incarceration should be at the forefront of efforts to reform the system. We work with parents and young people to conduct participatory action research, analyze inequities in the juvenile justice system, and advocate for changes that would make the system more humane, antiracist, rehabilitative, and just. In all our programming, we prioritize providing immediate economic opportunities to participants and families as well as developing strategies for long-term economic sustainability.
Vision“Ubuntu” is a South African word that means “I am because we are.” In other words, we become our fullest selves through our investment in our communities, our families, and our children. At Ubuntu, we believe that we need to work together as a community to support families and children, create economically sustainable solutions, promote education, innovation, and creativity, and foster transformational justice. We ground our approach in unity, self-determination, collective work, responsibility, purpose, and creativity.
Ubuntu is a village that connects young people and families to resources as well as a space to reflect and to grow. Together, we work toward imagining and creating a world in which all children are empowered to pursue their goals and all families have the economic resources to support them. Through tackling issues like juvenile justice, mass incarceration, racism, unemployment, trauma, joblessness, individualism, and divisiveness, we work toward more just and equitable solutions that enable people confronted with multiple oppressions to overcome them in unity.