The following trips were offered in 2014.
Gentrification: The Politics of Space
On this trip, we drew ties between histories of colonialism and their modern day implications, manifested in the racialization and gendering of spaces. We analyzed the role that businesses, popular culture, and housing play in both creating and disrupting what we see as conventional inner city dynamics. The trip challenged our positionality on the issue of gentrification, pushing us to look at the ways in which we fall complicit to greater systems of oppression. We left this experience with a more informed outlook on the intersectionality of race, gender, class and ability and the ways in which it interacts with space.
This trip focused on engaging and interacting with the theme of youth homelessness. We learned how a diversity of youth that come from different backgrounds and have unique identities deal with certain urban adversities. We collaborated with organizations and agencies that serve them. After each volunteer session, we critically analyzed how such agencies positively impact marginalized youth and discussed how theses organizations contribute to debunking certain misconceptions. The participants returned with a wider understanding of these communities, on both a personal level and within a larger context.
The focus of this trip was the impacts of environmental preservation. Participants left with a deeper awareness and understanding of their personal choices on their community and the environment. We discussed and critically analyzed common preconceptions, personal responsibility, and societal cognitive dissonance concerning the environment. Participants actively engaged in projects concerning environmental preservation, and reflected about the experience throughout the process. We explored different aspects of the environment and brought this knowledge, awareness and experience back to campus. While being outside and having fun, this trip added perspective on how to treat our local environment and the impacts service and awareness can make.
During this trip, we examined the various factors that influence students’ experiences within public K-12 education. Participants learned about the broad structural inequity in the U.S. education system through materials provided by the co-facilitators, group discussions, direct and indirect service, and reflection. By the end of the trip, participants had a better understanding of the underlying forces that contribute to structural inequity in educational opportunities and thus differences in outcomes for students based on factors such as race, class, and ability status. We will also explored possible solutions to this problem, both from the ideas of others and our own thinking.
This trip was rooted in understanding and analyzing the historical inequalities that created—and continue to perpetuate—violence in urban communities by examining the historical, political, and social dynamics of violence. We investigated the causes and origins of urban violence, its impacts on the experiences, identities, and relations of those affected, as well as the measures and resources in place to address and reduce this reversible trend. During this trip we encouraged students to think critically about the role which urban violence plays in the proliferation of other social issues, such as poverty, drug use, and the disproportionately high number of incarcerated African American and Latino youth. We also attempted to understand the significance and implications of such issues in contemporary U.S. society.