What We Do
We divide our work into three areas of focus.
Mentoring & Cultural Programming
We provide mentoring and cultural programming for youth held at Bridge City Center for Youth (BCCY) and the Youth Study Center (YSC).
Family Advocacy in Juvenile Courts
Ubuntu’s 2018 report, Families Fighting for Youth Justice, demonstrated the several ongoing issues in the juvenile courts: lack of communication, lack of respect for families, and lack of meaningful rehabilitative programming.
Parent Leadership Classes & Participatory Action Research
Ubuntu holds regular parent leadership classes that help parents better understand the system, advocate for their child, prioritize their family’s social and economic well-being, and gain job skills to combat persistent unemployment and underemployment.
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.
More support for our grassroots organizing!
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.