Ubuntu Youth Project

Welcome to the Ubuntu Youth Project

This is the sign up page for interested young people who want to join us to facilitate round tables in your Borough.

The Ubuntu Police-Youth Roundtable is an innovative new project developed in partnership by the Tutu Foundation and Youth Futures and funded by the John Cass Foundation and MOPAC. Our mission is to improve relations between the police and groups of young people through the philosophy of Ubuntu.

The aim of the initiative is to enable young people to meet with local police officers to discuss policing issues of concern to the youth in the area. ‘Ubuntu’ is a traditional Southern African philosophy that emphasizes our common humanity; our connectedness and the interdependence as fellow human beings.

Projects Key Aims are:

  • To deliver and sustain a mode of police-youth engagement underpinned by the principles of ‘Ubuntu’ through 10 ‘Ubuntu’ Police-Youth roundtables in the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Brent, Haringey, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Islington, Lambeth, Waltham Forest, Enfield and Tower Hamlets.
  • To provide the members of the police force working on the ground and the young people in those communities with the skills and confidence to listen to each other and express themselves to each other.
  • To enable the police and young people to build trust, so that they can work with each other and talk to each other to build safer communities.

If you are will to take part and play a role in shaping Policing in your neighbourhood then all you need to do is sign up by completing the form below.

The Roundtable - Promoting dialogue between young people and the police - Ubuntu in Action

Are you aged 15-24 and have a passion for speaking about issues affecting young people?

Are you or people you know affected by challenging policing practices in your area?

Do you want to bring about change in your community especially in regards to Policing and community safety?

Can you listen to others and lead a conversation around challenging issues?

If you are a young person from the following boroughs then you can be part of developing The Roundtable in your area:

Islington, Haringey, Enfield, Brent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Barking and Dagenham, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest.

Key Dates for your dairy are:

Launch Event: 18th March - 12-2pm Venue TBC

Facilitators Training Day:


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Background:

Relationships between the police and working class, black and ethnic minority communities have longstanding historical tensions in many inner city areas, and these are often greatly felt by the young people who tend be on the receiving end of controversial/contentious policing tactics, such as stop and search.

One Youth Futures young leader, Mark Murray from South London, had grown up witnessing the growing negative tensions between his family, friends, community and the police and in 2014, following a particularly challenging confrontation with the police himself, he asked why he and other young people could not sit around a table with the police and speak to each other as human beings. It was from here that this project has been born and expanded in partnership with the Tutu Foundation and their experience in reducing community conflict through their Conversations for Change programme. It is intended to facilitate the establishment of self- perpetuating local forums for discussion and engagement between the police and the local youth community, in order to create better understanding between communities, and in particular young people and the police.

The roundtable embodies the philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’; an African concept that has many meanings but can be understood mainly in terms of the capacity for an individual to express compassion, reciprocity, dignity, humanity and respect. It has gained global recognition through Archbishop Desmond Tutu and was also adopted by Nelson Mandela, who described ‘Ubuntu’ as a way of life which underpins an open society’ (Mandela, 2006: xxv).

In May 2016, a ‘pilot’ project took place in Camberwell, London. This was externally evaluated by Dr. Bankole Cole, Sheffield Hallam University, with the recommendation that it should be, ‘undertaken as a regular event in the community- a forum where local youths can meet the police, to debate concerns and ask for answers to policing issues and events as well as dispel local myths and misconceptions about policing and youths in communities’.