Still time to apply for Alternative Spring Break, exploring Indigenous Justice in Pacific Northwest

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Students looking for new, interesting ways to spend their spring break can turn to the Alternative Break, offered by the Office of Spiritual Life and Civic Engagement.

This “unique service and social justice immersion program” is offered every spring and fall break, according to the Center for Civic and Cultural Engagement (CICE) website.

Similar to a past year’s “Alt. Break,” as CICE calls it, this year’s Spring Break trip will return to the theme of “Indigenous Justice: Ongoing impacts of Colonialism on Indigenous Communities.”

This Alt. Break theme seeks to “[turn] a critical eye toward the ongoing impacts of colonialism and empire on indigenous populations of the Northwest,” according to the CICE website.

For those who attend, this entails “traveling throughout the Olympic peninsula and Puget Sound region to meet with and learn with and from Pacific Northwest Native Americans,” which includes a visit to Neah Bay, WA to engage with members of the Makah Nation.

Alternative Spring Breakers will participate in various outdoor activities in the area and investigate questions such as how the history of colonialism has an impact on the world around us today.

According to the CICE website, Alternate Breaks such as this aim to get students engaged with social justice issues that are not only relevant to Tacoma, but that are related to nation-wide or global issues. The program requires students to do some reading before going on the trip to brief participants on some of the social justice issues they will be engaging in.

“I cannot imagine anything else that I would have rather done this past spring break. I had the opportunity to share a passion for civic engagement with the best of the best in social justice here at the University of Puget Sound,” Sam Lilly wrote in her personal reflection on her Alternative Break trip in 2016.

The program this semester will allow eight students to participate in the trip, which goes from Saturday, March 16 to Thursday, March 22. Thanks to the trip being “highly subsidized,” as the CICE website notes, a single student fee of $100.00 covers transportation, lodging, meals and any activities that require payment for the entire trip.

In order to accept as many interested students as possible, the Alt. Break application deadline has been extended to Feb. 18. To apply, find the application on the CICE website or email cice@pugetsound.edu.