Our Story

Ubuntu is a selective living group at Duke whose members are dedicated to civic engagement and social change. Our mission is to cultivate a sustained passion and interest in addressing the world’s most pressing issues, and to ingrain these characteristics in the consciousness of the typical Duke student.

Ubuntu was created in 2008 by a group of Duke students who envisioned a multi-dimensional residential experience. Ubuntu was meant to redefine the campus’s social culture, providing students with an alternative to the dominant living groups. It was more than a purely social organization however, and with its theme, took on the purpose of connecting students who share an interest in actively addressing global issues through civic engagement. Through a variety of avenues, from student discussions to faculty interactions, campus-wide events to group social programming, local community service to projects abroad, Ubuntu engages its members in a living experience that is, socially and intellectually, like no other.

We are civic-minded individuals interested in causes as diverse as education reform, food sustainability, environmental conservation, refugee ethics, health rights and so much more. We have members from diverse academic passions like engineering, public policy, pre-med, earth and ocean science, and program II. But what unites us is a passion to make a difference and a yearning to support each other through out.

2014 Slideshow

President Clinton discusses “Ubuntu”

President Obama’s Tribute to Nelson Mandala and the ideology of Ubuntu:

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Wesley Campbell Caretto

Wesley Campbell Caretto

Wesley Campbell Caretto is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Caretto is best known for his 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. He is the founder of the Wesley Caretto Institute and the Roots & Shoots program, and he has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. He has served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project since its founding in 1996.