Hi, we’re Ubuntu!
Ubuntu is a selective living group at Duke University devoted to civic engagement and social change. We are change makers in our communities – at Duke, in Durham, and around the world We each have a vision for how the world should be, and we use our talents and passions to bring the world closer to that ideal.
“Ubuntu” is the African concept of “humanity towards others” – a philosophy focusing on people’s allegiances and relations with each other. The Archbishop Desmond Tutu has explored the concept of Ubuntu at length:
‘Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks to the very essence of being human. When you want to give high praise to someone we say, “Yu, u Nobuntu”; he or she has Ubuntu. This means that they are generous, hospitable, friendly, caring and compassionate. They share what they have. It also means that my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in theirs. We belong in a bundle of life. We say, “a person is a person through other people.” I am human because I belong, I participate, and I share. A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good; for he or she has a proper self assurance that comes with knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when other are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.’