Ubuntu Center for Peace

The Ubuntu Center for Peace, located within the Orr-Weathers housing complex in East St. Louis, is an oasis of peace and kindness, in an often violent community. With a focus on justice and peace, the Ubuntu Center is a program of Join Hands ESL. It is home to our programs, a second home for our families, and a community center for the neighborhood. We bring light, love, and hope to all who come through our doors. Coffee is on every morning and all are welcome.

The Ubuntu Center for Peace is the foundation of our work because we know that there can be no true peace, without justice. Human dignity and equal opportunity and working to ensure these exist for our families are essential to our work, work based in relationships.

Join Hands walks in solidarity with our families. When they are hurting, we are hurting. When they face injustice and inequities and the effects of structural racism, a fact of life that happens every day for Join Hands youth and families, we see it, and we know we must work to change it.  This is part of our being in relationship with those we serve. It is ubuntu.


The Join Hands Strategic Plan of 2018-21 includes an expansion of our organizing activities and advocacy on issues impacting the local community and on broader justice issues, including the prioritization of racial and economic justice work. To make this a reality, today, in 2020, with protests as our backdrop, we seek to move forward with our plan. So many people, new allies, are asking what they can do to support the movement, looking for organizations they can support who are doing the work.

We would love it if you could support the Ubuntu Center for Peace and our growth of the Ubuntu Movement.

We will soon be incorporating the Ubuntu Center for Peace as a separate 501c4 organization which will allow for advocacy and lobbying.  We are seeking to expand our Ubuntu Center budget to increase our capacity and to also hire a Director of Advocacy for the Ubuntu Center for Peace. Please help us! Become an Ubuntu Center sustaining donor.

Individual Monthly Sustaining Donors – $25, $50, $100…any amount is welcome.  CLICK HERE TO DONATE Simply indicate it is for the Ubuntu Center for Peace.

Organizational Sustaining Donors – Could your organization, church, group of friends or business commit to raising money one month a year, money we could count on for our budget? Commitment levels could be: $1000, $2500, $5000 or $10,000.  Please email sburton@joinhandsesl.org and we will get you signed up and committed!

Peace Warriors

Let the young people lead! Join Hands Peace Warriors are young people from our Dream Path Teen Mentoring Program who show leadership potential and have a commitment to Dr. Martin Luther King’s principles of nonviolence as a philosophy of life, as a means of social change and as a better alternative to the violence and killing so prevalent in the streets of East St. Louis.  Peace Warriors interrupt nonsense, interject love and kindness and are ambassadors for peace. Peace Warriors not only train other teens in Kingian nonviolence, but they also are challenged to make real change in their communities as Dr. King did, focusing on a problem in their community and working to change it! For more information on signing up for a training or getting a group of teens you work with trained, please contact us at joinhandsesl@gmail.com.

Peace Warriors have adopted and want to make go viral their Ubuntu Pledge.  Please sign and encourage all your friends to sign too!

For more information on this program click here.