Alternative Breaks is offering winter service trips to New Orleans, Louisiana, the Greater Bay Area, and Los Angeles, California for January 2016. Led by students, the program consists of a DECal during the fall semester and a 10- to 14-day service trip in early January.
2015-2016 marks the tenth year of the commitment the UC Berkeley Public Service Center holds in working in solidarity with Gulf Coast Communities; 2014 was the inaugural year for a winter trip to Los Angeles centered upon the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA 2010); and 2015 marked the inaugural year for the winter Food & Justice Storytelling winter trip. All trips are also offered over spring break.
Alternative Breaks Winter Trips seeks dedicated student volunteers who have the courage to step outside of their comfort zones and challenge their own assumptions about social inequities. Alternative Breaks holds long-term relationships with many of the community organizations that will be visited. The winter trip opportunities offer the chance to deeply engage with the community and strengthen existing partnerships. This is an opportunity for both experienced student volunteers and those beginning to do justice work.
Applications will open in August.
To receive email reminders about future info sessions and application deadlines please email us.
Program Dates: January 2-16, 2016
Time Commitment: 2 weeks in Winter 2016 PLUS Fall 2015 DECal, Wednesdays 6-8pm
Eligibility: Current Cal Students and Alumni
Cost: $375 (Subject to Change)
Application Deadline: September 13, 2015 at 11:59pm
Anyone is welcome to sign up for the trip. As part of our objective to be inclusive to those of all backgrounds, we will be subsidizing trip costs and supporting fundraising efforts. The final per person cost for the trip includes transportation, lodging, and food. Please talk to us if you need any financial assistance.
The purpose of these trips is to participate alongside community members in rebuilding and shaping their communities.
All participants will be expected to attend the mandatory DeCal class for their trip during the fall 2015 semester. DeCals are 6-8pm on Wednesdays, starting in September. The purpose of the DeCal is to give participants a greater understanding of the geography, history, and socioeconomic issues of the trip to make it an even better experience. The DeCal is also an opportunity for participants and break leaders to get to know each other and prepare for two weeks of service!
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Magnolia Project was created in 2006 in collaboration with the UC Berkeley Public Service Center. We partner with community based organizations to explore social issues through meaningful service, education, and reflection during academic breaks. The majority of the trip takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a few days spent in Jackson, Mississippi. The program includes a weekly two-unit DeCal on Wednesday nights from 6-8pm during the fall semester, where students will study the history of New Orleans and modern social justice issues the city is grappling with and a two-week service trip from January 2 to January 16.
New Orleans has a unique rich history which has contributed significantly to the civil rights movement and many other important social movements. Magnolia Project serves to preserve the unique cultural legacy of New Orleans from social hazards that were further magnified through Hurricane Katrina. While on the trip, participants will have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of community partners in various New Orleans neighborhoods. These grassroots organizations support their communities in multiple ways, focusing on issues ranging from criminal justice, to education, to environmental concerns.
Magnolia Project also gives students the opportunity to think critically about important intersecting themes, all while exploring their social justice drives and developing their understanding of the potential power of community organizing. Many students find that what they learn through the program leads them to become more involved in social justice work and influences choices they make in other aspects of their lives.
We are looking for students of diverse backgrounds, interests, and levels of knowledge about New Orleans; people of non-social justice majors are encouraged as well, ranging anywhere from Engineering, CNR, and Business, to literature, art, and film!
Health is an important basic aspect of everyday life. According a 2011 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the US spends more on healthcare than any other nation, an astonishing $2.6 trillion annually. But US health indicators are among the worst of high-income countries. Are you wondering why?
Together, we will be exploring the US healthcare system in Los Angeles, its ongoing evolution with recent reform (PPACA), its manifestation in the urban community, and its intimate experience for individuals. We will delve into the social determinants of health and the systemic inequalities that plague urban communities. We will focus on a few populations that have fallen through the cracks and we will look at the role of free clinics and public hospitals in providing healthcare to those without access to sufficient quality healthcare or any health care at all.
During our weeklong service-learning trip, we will learn about and aid current efforts to strike down the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and injustice through programs aimed at social reform and empowerment. Ultimately, we want to recognize our own privileges and resources and how we can use them to create positive change.
“More than one-third of US adults are obese.”
“Hunger in America exists for over 50 million people”
“1 in 7 US Households are food-insecure”
Facts like these are shared on a daily basis, but what do they really mean and how does this relate to the ever-changing food industry in the United States? In a nation known for an abundant food supply, how are there people struggling to find their next meal? In a nation struggling with food insecurity and hunger, how is obesity continuing to grow?
Join us on a journey in the Greater Bay Area to unwrap the food system and understand the impact of the food movement in the U.S. as we dig for answers. Through readings, guest lectures, and reflection, we will explore the history of agriculture and how politics turned simple farming into an industry, the paradox of the prominence of nutrition-related diseases in food-insecure homes, and how all of this impacts humanity. During our weeklong service-learning trip, we will dive into the hearts of communities known as food deserts, which lack access to affordable, nutritious foods as a result of various social issues, including socioeconomic level. We will explore how food deserts are created and how this relates to health disparities amongst differing social groups. To further feed our minds, we will focus on the various people in the food system from CEO’s of major corporations to farm works to consumers.
We know you’re hungry for answers so join us as we unwrap the food system and take a bite out of justice!
The Magnolia Project and all winter trips are generously supported by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, LEAD Center, ASUC, and alumni, staff and faculty donors.
Interested in Leading an Alternative Break on of our 10 trip locations?
Applications to become an Alternative Breaks Leader in the 2016-2017 open in March 2016.
As an Alternative Breaks Leader, you will have the opportunity to develop:
As a Break Leader, you will connect and partner with organizations that engage in a particular social justice issue. You will also be able to influence and inspire other students towards meaningful service through your work.
Alternative Breaks seeks to partner with organizations that promote social justice within their communities by sending service groups for one-week or two-week projects during Cal students' academic Spring (March 19-25, 2016) and Winter breaks (January 2-16, 2016).
We emphasize sustainability by making a commitment to return year after year to our host communities, including:
If you are a community-based organization providing services to or advocating for justice for the people in these communities, please contact Community Partnerships Director Selene Calderon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative Breaks is committed to offering its program to all students, regardless of their financial situations. All of our trips are subsidized by fundraisers and grants, with trip fees at only $200 and fundraising at $150 for an entire week of transportation, lodging, and food. If you would like to help Alternative Breaks provide more opportunities to its students, you can donate to us at the Give to Cal website. All gifts are tax-deductible.
If you are a Cal alumnus living in one of the communities we serve and are interested in hosting dinner or speaking with one of our trips during spring break, please contact Community Partnerships Student Director at email@example.com.