Alternative Fall Break 2012

Thirteen students spent their fall break (Oct. 13-16) engaging the theme of “Social Justice in Tacoma” through volunteering, advocacy work, communal meals and listening to local activists speak about civic engagement, campus apathy and community organizing.

AFB 2012 consisted of a dinner kick-off on Saturday night, two and a half days of diverse community service at various sites around Tacoma and a celebratory reflection lunch on Tuesday. Students built raised garden beds for Hilltop Urban Gardens, packed backpacks of food at St. Leo’s Food Connection and participated in the ESL program Talk Time at Tacoma Community House. They cleared up brush at L’Arche Farm & Gardens and served breakfast at Tacoma Rescue Mission. Through volunteering, students were able to learn more about issues of food justice, community gardening, disability, immigration and homelessness.

The student response from AFB was highly positive and encouraging. Students were able to reflect on the importance of service and also cultivated their values around social justice. One student said, “My personal values have been shaped by my community back home. I feel that in order to also call Tacoma home, I need to share my values with those from Tacoma. In order to do that I do service.”

Students were also impacted by the talks by local community members. One student commented in their evaluation: "The conversation with Dave helped me to realize that I can take a more active role advocating for causes I believe in and constantly challenging the status quo.”