Alec Lintz, a junior public policy student, grew up in a family in Ohio where commitment to the community and the public good was a shared, passionate value. Following in this family tradition, Lintz has continued this spirit of engagement during his time at Duke.
A co-founding member of the POLIS Bipartisan Leadership Team, Lintz reached out to POLIS Director Fritz Mayer and Associate Director B.J. Rudell after observing a deep ideological divide and a pervasive sense of anger on campus.
That conversation led to the creation of Unum. Taking it’s name from the United States national motto—E pluribus unum (out of many, one)—Unum is a bipartisan service initiative that unites individuals across the political spectrum around community service.
Unum’s kickoff service event, a day at the Durham Rescue Mission food kitchen, brought together nine students on the ideological right, left, and middle. The organization will host a second day of service at the TROSA Thrift Store on February 17. Longer term, Unum volunteers will include North Carolina elected officials who desire to put service above politics.
“I wanted people to realize that there is more that unites us than divides us,” Lintz said about his inspiration for starting Unum. “Unum gives us the chance to exercise empathy, learn from the other side of the aisle, listen to the needs of our communities, and see how working together and bipartisanship can lead to meaningful change.”
His passion for politics has led Lintz to an internship with his political hero, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, and, later, to a summer internship in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
Lintz wants to continue promoting bipartisan conversation and collaboration at Duke and beyond.
“We no longer look to each other and embrace what unites us,” he said. “When it comes to constructive political dialogue, we need less political identity and more personal empathy.”