Rye Barcott, social entrepreneur, graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and board member of the UNC Institute for the Environment, will deliver the University’s spring Commencement address on May 13 in Kenan Stadium.
Before graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001 on an ROTC scholarship, Barcott co-founded Carolina for Kibera through the Center for Global Initiatives within UNC Global. CFK is a non-governmental organization based in the impoverished Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya. Named a Time magazine and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “Hero of Global Health,” CFK uses sports and public health initiatives to prevent ethnic and gender violence and to fight poverty.
“Rye’s amazing life journey began while he was an undergraduate at Carolina, when he co-founded an acclaimed non-governmental organization, Carolina for Kibera, dedicated to breaking cycles of violence and developing young leaders in Kenya,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Rye’s out-of-the box thinking and global entrepreneurial work – ranging from creating holistic youth development programs to establishing a clinic treating thousands in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been recognized by the President of the United States, the World Economic Forum and international philanthropists, and is taught in graduate schools around the world. I know his authenticity and example of selfless service to others, mixed with his personal humility and humor, will inspire the Class of 2018 as they begin their own journeys.”