Expanding the Circle of Compassion

About Us

We all fall down and not everyone is able to get back up by themselves.

Handmade banner Refugees Welcome is hanged in Copenhagen railroad station by the place where locals bring clothes for refugees.

Our Story

After witnessing cycles of brutality, violence, and trauma, both local and global — from gang-ridden, poverty-stricken communities in our backyards to the brutal, horrifying violence in Sudan, Congo, and countless other regions, Living Ubuntu came into being in 2005 because we began asking ourselves simple, yet urgent, questions:

  • What can be done to help the mass numbers of traumatized people in this world?
  • How does one address healing for people with varying cultural backgrounds and taboos against seeking help?
  • When entire societies have been traumatized, what does genuine healing look like?

Our name is representative of the philosophy eloquently described by Desmond Tutu in recognition that “my humanity is… inextricably bound up in what is yours,” and “what dehumanizes you inexorably dehumanizes me.” Just as “Ubuntu” describes our inter-connectedness, Living Ubuntu seeks to support the common good while also addressing factors that detract from that.

Board of Directors


Barbara English

LMFT, CBT Co-founder & Executive Director
Barbara is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience in the field. As a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, she works from a mind-body perspective and utilizes relational somatic methods as part of the process toward healing and a sense of wellbeing.  Much of her training has focused on Early Development, Infant Mental Health, and healing after abuse or trauma.  She is a 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellow with Genocide Intervention Network.

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Penny Gene

Penny is an experienced commercial insurance professional who has earned several prominent industry designations. She holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Penny has a long history of advocacy and activism for many worthwhile organizations and causes. She is an analyst, activist, vegan and entrepreneur. Penny is a Southern California native.


Elizabeth Limebrook

Elizabeth “Betsy” has over 30 years of professional experience in both the public and the private sector.  She was employed for the first 20 years of her career, as a human resource professional at one of Southern California’s finest community college districts.  After leaving the public sector, she had a major career shift and entered the computer technology industry, where currently she is one of the principals in a boutique technology consulting firm.  Betsy holds a Master of Human Resources & Organization Development and Bachelor of Science in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco.  She has been on the Living Ubuntu Board of Directors since it was founded in 2005.


Patty League

Patty has more than 24 years of experience as a paralegal in the areas of construction law and general civil litigation, as well as criminal defense experience at both the state and federal levels. Patty joined Living Ubuntus Orange County for Darfur in 2007 and is also a member of the Irvine Chapter of Amnesty International. Additionally, she is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction, Orange County Chapter and volunteers for its Block Kids and Magic Camp programs.