2020 ABCs Descriptions

From Civil Rights to Fair Fight: Inside Atlanta’s Racial Justice Movements

May 31 - June 5 | Atlanta, GA
Hosted in partnership with Emory University

In the summer of 1946, with Martin Luther King. Jr. headed into his third year at Morehouse College, The Atlanta Journal Constitution published the future Rev. Dr. King's first op-ed advocating for racial justice - lighting a spark that would propel his legacy and the modern-day Civil Rights Movement. Since that time, Atlanta has played host to countless intersectional racial justice organizations creating access to and for People of Color in the public, economic, and educational spheres. As recently as last year, after a contested race for the Georgia Governor’s seat, Stacey Abrams launched Fair Fight to ensure a just elections process in Georgia and around the country. This summer, with an election only months away, ABCs participants will work with local voter’s rights organizations and other racial justice organizations building capacity for and with Communities of Color. Participants will learn about more integrated voter access and engagement and determine other ways to challenge racism in our own communities. 

Beyond Borders: Broadening Immigrant Experience Narratives

June 21 - June 26 | Mount Vernon, IA
Hosted in partnership with Cornell College

Immigration at the borders is often at the center of political discourse. Less talked about are the experiences of thousands of immigrants making their home in the U.S. Midwest. According to the American Immigration Council (AIC), over five percent of Iowa residents are immigrants with that number steadily growing. Nearly a quarter of Iowa’s immigrant population are classified as undocumented, and without robust support for individuals without documentation, many families are at risk of harm from outdated and xenophobic laws and policies. This ABCs will challenge conventional narratives around immigration and citizenship and provide participants the opportunity to engage with the complex, yet deeply human issue of immigration and pursuit of the “American Dream.”

The Mount Vernon ABCs will also feature a three-day Staff Track. 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.

From the Ground Up: Cultivating Just Food Systems

July 5 - July 10 | Port Royal, PA
Hosted in partnership with Gita Nagari Eco Farm and Sanctuary

How much thought do we give to the food that shows up on our dinner plate? In a society fixated on convenience and speed, our expectations for food are no different, but our expectations come at what cost? Unjust food systems rely on cheap labor and unsustainable farming practices, often at the expense of those living in the margins. Gita Nagari Eco Farm and Sanctuary uses design thinking strategies to challenge the conventional boundaries of food systems and provide sustainable alternative approaches to food creation and cultivation. These approaches allow for more equitable distribution of resources, while simultaneously centering people, animals, and the planet. This ABCs will expose participants to intersectional justice approaches within the food justice movement by exploring ways to move our food systems toward sustainability and equity.

Place-based Learning: The Innate Power of Nature as an Educator

July 26 - July 31 | Prince William Forest Park, VA
Hosted in partnership with the National Park Service

Nature plays unseen and often forgotten roles in our lives - teaching us lessons we often aren’t aware of until we stop to consider our relationship to the physical world. Outdoor education, however, enhances cooperation; promotes new and strategic thinking approaches; tests limits; strengthens our equity consciousness; and provides a more flexible learning environment. Place-based education challenges our assumption that learning is only of value when it happens within the walls of a classroom. The National Park Service (NPS) has been utilizing natural education pathways since its inception. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Volunteer in Parks (VIP) Act, a program that helps support parks through volunteers lending their talents and skills to the NPS while learning and growing in their service. This ABCs, in partnership with the NPS, will highlight the many ways nature serves as a powerful tool for learning and development. Using a critical, place-based pedagogy, we will explore the connections between our physical environments, salient social identities, and futures by examining the crucial role nature plays in shaping the overall human experience.

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