Alternative Break Citizenship schools

2016 Alternative Break Citizenship schools (ABCs)

The ABCs are week-long experiential training sessions that provide college student and staff leaders the knowledge, skills, and connections they need to start or strengthen a quality alternative break program. 

The ABCs combine aspects of a national conference - through workshops, discussions, and planning sessions - with the education, reflection, and direct service of an alternative break. Throughout the week, participants spend time engaging in an experience focused on the best practices and details of organizing an alternative break.

The result – a dynamic experiential learning opportunity that encourages participants to synthesize knowledge and skills gained in workshops with inspiring and educational contact with the community and other student and staff leaders from college campuses nationwide.

Break Away partners with campuses and local community partner organizations to develop these conferences.

The 2016 Alternative Break Citizenship schools (ABCs)

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response*
June 5 - 10 | Atlanta, GA
Hosted in partnership with Emory University

Sexual violence exists in every community regardless of location and demographics. In recent years, survivors and allies have spoken out, demanding recognition and justice. Communities, particularly college campuses, have effectively organized - through strategy, dialogue, and collective action - to create a strong national presence and movement against sexual assault and violence. We will learn from and work alongside organizations - such as Atlanta Women for Equality and Georgia Tech VOICE - focused on ending sexual violence by deconstructing rape myths, mobilizing bystanders, advocating for policy reform, and supporting survivors.

*This ABCs will contain education, service, and discussion about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

The Atlanta ABCs will also feature a three-day staff development track. A full schedule will be released in April but you can find the 2015 Staff Track agenda here for a sense of what to expect. Staff who work with break programs have the opportunity to attend the full ABCs and switch into the staff track for the last three days, or to just come for the final three days, depending on program needs.

Atlanta Travel & Shuttle Information
Preserving Native Land, Nationhood, and Culture
June 19 - 24 | Moscow, Idaho
Hosted in partnership with University of Idaho

From sports mascots to clothing and jewelry, mainstream society’s primary connection to indigenous cultures is rooted in appropriation. Conventional narratives of what it means to be “American” minimize the historical exploitation and exile of thousands of people from their native lands and ignore the 567 current federally recognized indigenous, sovereign nations (variously called Indian or Native American tribes, bands, communities, and people). This ABCs will trace the history of indigenous nations, focusing specifically on the Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) people, to shed light on current issues and efforts to restore native land and preserve indigenous cultures. We are partnering with organizations such as Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute and Lapwai School to work on projects rooted in environmental and cultural preservation on what is, or once was, Nez Perce land.  

Idaho Travel & Shuttle Information
Ten Years Later: A Neighbor-Driven Recommitment 
July 3 - 8 | New Orleans, LA
Hosted in partnership with Project Homecoming

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans became a site of widespread media attention, failed government infrastructure, and the largest volunteer response in U.S. history. News coverage of New Orleans post-Katrina perpetuated a single story of destruction and encouraged reliance on outside assistance. A decade later, New Orleans neighbors, organizers, and local leaders are fighting to preserve the authenticity of their city. In partnership with Project Homecoming, participants will work on neighbor-driven home rebuilding efforts to preserve New Orleans’ most culturally-diverse and historically-rich neighborhoods. Through this ABCs, we hope alternative breaks will reinvest in the New Orleans community long-term, tackling structural issues that outlast the spotlight of public interest.

New Orleans Travel & Shuttle Information
Restoring Ecosystems for Future Generations
July 23 - 29 | Grand Canyon National Park
Hosted in partnership with the National Park Service

In the 100th year of the National Park Service, we return to our partnership with the Grand Canyon to celebrate our shared heritage and common ground in these uncommon spaces. This ABCs will explore the connections between our social and physical environments, examining the crucial role that nature plays in the human experience. Through the investigation of ecosystems and our environmental surroundings, we will help lay the path for the next 100 years of stewardship in our national lands. Participants will work with the Wildland Fire Management Program, a branch of the NPS that uses fire as a tool to restore and maintain diverse ecosystems.

Grand Canyon Travel & Shuttle Information

Break Away strives to offer training that responds to the needs and talents of its participants. Everyone is encouraged to include information on the registration form that would help us create a space for you to participate fully. If you have specific questions about accessibility or available accommodations at the ABCs, please contact Sam Giacobozzi.