Alternative Break ("Alt. Break" for short) is a unique service and social justice immersion program hosted by the Office of Spiritual Life and Civic Engagement during the fall and spring breaks. Thematically based, Alt. Breaks provide students an opportunity to engage with a particular area of social justice and service on a deeper level than one-time lectures or community service events allow for. During fall break, learn about what social justice issues are especially relevant in Tacoma and how they fit into broader nation-wide or global issues. Spring break offers students the opportunity to build relationships, cultivate awareness of social justice and engage in reflection and solidarity with those we partner with for the break experience.
This year we are offering two alternative fall break opportunities. The first, A Survey of Injustice in American Education will look at systemic injustice within the US education system, the opportunity gap, and the school to prison pipeline. The second fall break, Tacoma: Engage your Home, is aimed at first-year students and members of the Civic Engagement Pathway Program and will be about getting to know and engaging Tacoma as students' home for their time here. This will include a look at both the fun, entertaining ways to get plugged in off campus as well as an introduction to the ways various social justice issues play out in the city. Click here for more information about the Survey of Injustice in American Education Break Program. Click here for more information about the Tacoma: Engage your Home break option.
Additionally, this spring break we will be taking a group of 10 students to Washington DC. This Civil Rights: Then & Now alternative break will engage the history of civil rights in America and look at current civil and human rights issues. Students will think critically about these issues and possible approaches for addressing them. Applications to participate in this break option will go live soon and are due Friday, Oct. 28. Pre- and post-break cohort work required to attend.
Previous alternative break themes have included: Sustainable Food Justice, Justice and Service in Tacoma, Immigration and Citizenship, and Service in Seattle: Engaging Poverty, Mass Incarceration, and Indigenous Justice.
Interested in participating in a service program but unable to commit to an Alternative Break program? Join us for the MLK Day of Service, each year on the day before Spring semester commences. To sign yourself or your campus group up for this year's MLK Day of Service, please submit the online registration form found here.