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Spring Semester Breaks


Volunteer Emory is proud to announce the following trips that will be taking place in the Spring 2016 semester. Click LEARN MORE to get an in-depth look at each of our opportunities.  


Alternative Spring Break (March 5-12)
Interconnected: Rethinking Place and Community in Charleston, SC

Co-leads: Nate Sawyer and Carolyn Perry 

This trip seeks to explore the interrelated nature of several social injustices including housing injustice and homelessness, racial injustice and discrimination, and environmental injustice through a critical examination of how people conceptualize and interact with their “place” and their “community.” Who/what is deemed a part of the “community?” How do these conceptions impact policies and the livelihoods of living beings? From what conception of “community” is it possible that places in South Carolina see fit to fine a person experiencing homelessness asking passersby for change and to require enormous fees for non-profit shelters to even provide food? This trip will include an exploration of the darker side of Charleston’s history as a site of urban disregard for the environment as well as discrimination and racial injustice. Service projects will include housing development projects, volunteering with shelters for persons experiencing homelessness, habitat restoration and protection, and much more. Through these experiences, this trip will focus on how these related issues feed into each other rather than thinking about these social injustices as separate, distinct problems.Community Development in Light of Urban Renewal in Charleston, SC. LEARN MORE!

Life is a Beautiful Ride: Education Inequality in New Orleans, LA
Co-leads: Timothy Xu and Carly Kies

About the trip: This trip will focus on bridging the gap between learning efficacy in children of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Numerous families and communities have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, and are still in recovering from its aftermaths even today. We will work towards serving the youth of New Orleans. We will also talk about our community partners when we have them finalized. LEARN MORE!

Hiding in Plain Sight: Homelessness Immersion in Atlanta, GA
Co-leads: Jun Cai and Kathy Bui

The trip will be an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a simulation of homelessness for five days and four nights in the Greater Atlanta area. Students will experience the conditions and circumstances of homelessness while also visiting and serving agencies that are geared towards helping individuals experiencing homelessness. These agencies will help students gain an in-depth perspective of how homelessness develops, how homelessness is being addressed in Atlanta, and what issues these agencies are specifically tackling. Students will also participate in simulations and discussion activities with individuals undergoing homelessness and learn more about what these daily experiences mean for those undergoing homelessness, their families, legal officials, and the Atlanta community. During the trip, students will also participate in reflection activities that will help them process their experiences and deepen their learning about homelessness. Some of the organizations we will be partnering with include Central Outreach and Advocacy Center, the Metro Atlanta Task Force, the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency, Covenant House Georgia, and the Lost N Found organization.

The trip ultimately aims to close the gap between “us” and “them” in our discourse on homelessness, to gain a better understanding of the experience through interactions with those undergoing homelessness, to educate and increase awareness about the underlying issues in society which contribute to the cycle of homelessness, and to inspire and provide the foundation for future actions toward change. Despite these well-intentioned goals, this trip does not seek to fully and truly understand the plight of homelessness which is something no one but those undergoing these struggles can ever comprehend.  LEARN MORE! 

Children's Environmental Health in Perry County, KY
Co-leads: Emily Dong and Ava Raddatz

This trip will focus on the environmental factors affecting the health of low-income communities in the coal mining region of Eastern Kentucky, specifically targeting the pediatric population. We are looking to bring an interdisciplinary group of students on this journey to explore healthcare concerns in Appalachia, participate in public health advocacy/education, and gain exposure to hands-on clinical work. Our goal by the end of the week-long service trip is to provide participants with a greater understanding of how the unique environmental conditions of Eastern Kentucky, the tragic lack of jobs and income, and the overall culture of the region all affect the health and lifestyle of the people of Eastern Kentucky. We also hope to shed some light on the importance of environmental protection and nature preservation in hopes to help students gain a newfound appreciation of the natural world around us. LEARN MORE!

Beneath the Surface: Exposing the Levels of Poverty in Jacksonville, FL
Co-leads: Tyler Teresi and Julia Munslow

This trip will focus on urban poverty, specifically on working with individuals affected by homelessness, families struggling to provide for themselves, male veterans, and people with disabilities. Though Florida often conjures up images of sun, beach, and relaxation, in 2014, one in every six Floridians was living in poverty. Our goal is to bring to light the hidden faces of poverty. Many people living below the poverty line experience difficulties in everyday life, facing stigma and fighting the cycle of poverty.

On this trip, we will volunteer with organizations that work to combat the aforementioned areas of urban poverty, including a soup kitchen, a clothing distribution center, an after school program, a food bank, and a nonprofit working with people with disabilities. Through our work we plan to attain a better understanding of urban poverty by examining its various levels and faces in order to gain a broader and deeper perspective. We aim to provide direct service to those we work with, empower their communities, and raise awareness about this social justice issue. LEARN MORE!

Pur-Siouan Preservation: Contemporary Native American Issues in Bolton, NC
Co-leads: Sarah Perlin and Kamin Bouguyon

This trip will be a week-long experience serving the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe, one of the eight state-recognized tribal nations in North Carolina. While serving the tribe, we will learn about Pan-Native American culture, while exploring the intricate social justice issues that have arisen for Native Americans in the 21st Century. During the week, we will aid the tribe by: revitalizing residences of the sick and elderly, volunteering with the tribal youth group, and helping to support common tribal spaces. We will learn about the culture of the tribe and of tribes throughout the Southeast, gaining cultural competency about groups that are often misunderstood. LEARN MORE!


Spring Alternative Weekend Trips

FEBRUARY 5TH - 7TH - in collaboration with Project SHINE 
Immigrant and Refugee Health in Clarkston, GA
Co-leads: Maddy Lowery and Joseph Birchansky

Project SHINE (Students Helping in Naturalization and English) works with immigrant and refugee populations throughout the United States. At Emory, our program serves our community partners by providing assistance in naturalization test preparation, vocational skills, enrichment activities, and scholastic achievement. Through prolonged interactions with those we serve, our volunteers see the tangible results of their work. The populations we serve face many challenges beyond those we currently focus on during weekly service trips. Our alternative weekend trip is focused on learning about immigrant and refugee health in Clarkston, GA, a designated refugee resettlement site. We will learn about the health disparities and inequity that immigrants and refugees face in wellness and in the difficulties they may encounter in accessing healthcare. Through this trip, we will learn how health disparities within the immigrant and refugee population are currently being addressed and how we can continue to mitigate these inequities in the future. LEARN MORE!

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