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UMBC's Alternative Spring Break experiences are about taking responsibility for the well-being of our communities. Organized by the Center for Democracy and Civic Life, these student-designed, student-led experiences are pathways to deep, sustained involvement in supporting improvements to the quality of life in Baltimore.
ASB participants gain an understanding of social issues and learn about the approaches nonprofits, city governments, community organizers, residents, and activists are taking to address them. They develop a new sense of the human-scale impacts and dimensions of abstract, systemic issues: seeing the impacts on the people affected, and understanding a variety of perspectives on the problem. In addition, they develop skills that help them reflect on experiences; share, solicit, and make use of stories; build community; work in partnerships; and analyze approaches to problem-solving to identify what works, and what else is possible.
We are the ASB leaders: six students coached and supported through the Center for Democracy and Civic Life as we develop and lead ASB groups. Up to 40 students will participate in this year's program. We need your support to make this possible!
We will lead three groups, each taking a deep dive into a specific social issue affecting Baltimore:
Housing Access and Homelessness
This group will explore the causes that contribute to housing insecurity and displacement of individuals and families in Baltimore. Participants will investigate government policies and the work of nonprofit organizations to improve the well-being of people experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness. They will also explore public attitudes and their consequences for society. This experience will help position participants to contribute to removing barriers to sustainable housing.
Group Leaders: Ashley Amundsen and Chandler Jenkins
This experience will heighten participants' awareness of ongoing social issues related to nutritional equity. Participants will explore the history and lasting effects of varying access to nutritious food, education regarding nutrition, and the health impact of nutrition in Baltimore. They will interact with local government and grassroots advocates to gain an understanding of current initiatives and community-engaged activities, and discover new opportunities to create nutritional equity.
Group Leaders: Tristen Griffith and Faith Davis
Creative Expression and Community Empowerment
This group will explore the role of creative expression in Baltimore and its impact in building healthy and empowered communities. Participants will immerse themselves in the city's community art scene, including music, dance, theater, and visual arts, to understand its past and present cultural significance. They will work with community activists, nonprofits, and the local government to learn how they engage with the arts to address social issues. This experience will be a catalyst for them to continue to empower themselves to work for social change.
Group Leaders: Joshua Gray and Hager Younes
Your donation and your help making others aware of UMBC ASB 2020 and this fundraising campaign will be appreciated. Please share this project with your various networks. The more people who know about it, the more likely we are to reach our goal.
All funds raised are administered by the UMBC Foundation for the benefit of UMBC.
Select this reward if you just want to donate to the project without receiving a reward.
Provide learning materials and a reflection journal for one ASB participant.
Provide two nights of safe and warm housing in Baltimore for an ASB participant.
Cover the participant fee for the six-day experience for one student who needs financial assistance.
Cover the entire cost of ASB--lodging, transportation, meals, training, and materials--for one student participant.