Altbreak: Immigrants and Refugees in Minnesota
Leaders: William Barber, Joo Young Yim
Dates: October 15- 22
The purpose of this trip is to help learn more about, and ameliorate the struggles that immigrants and refugees face when first settling in the U.S. We will be working with organizations that are involved in improving the social and economic condition of refugees and immigrants in the city. We will volunteer with a food shelf organization dedicated toward helping refugees and immigrants to be self-dependant and to reach social equality. We’ll also work with an education program that is specifically designed to aid non-English speakers! These activities will give us unique insight into foreign languages and cultures, as well as the personal struggles of each individual attempting to adjust to a new nation.
Altbreak: Early Childhood Education in Native American Tribe
Leaders: Aanchal Gulati, Xiaohan Wu
Dates: October 15- 22
The Cherokee Nation is the second-largest Indian tribe in the U.S. and a recognized sovereign nation covering most of northeast Oklahoma. This Altbreak trip will take you to the heart of the Cherokee Nation, its capitol in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to spend time with kids, nature and Indian culture. We will work with the Early Childhood Unit (ECU) on social and educational programs for children from lower income Indian families. Possible activities include preparing handmade educational materials for the classrooms, assisting in a classroom setting with staff, yard work and painting, and (most certainly) exchanging cultural diversity. The trip will further your understanding of the Indian tribe through community interaction and through tours of the Cherokee Nation Complex, visits to the heritage center and local events. We may explore possibilities of hiking and boating for the outdoor fun and scenic views from the surrounding lakes.
Altbreak: Community Homestead
Leaders: Kyle Walters, Radka Slamova
Dates: October 15-22
We will travel to the Community Homestead, a community of 40 people with diverse abilities and developmental disabilities who live and work together on an organic farm in central Wisconsin. This special community is dedicated to the idea that each person can contribute in a unique and meaningful way to the life of the community. We will work side-by-side with community members on the farm, in the orchard, woodshop, garden, bakery and craft room, doing whatever we can to help with the day-to-day operations of the Homestead. We have been invited to spend lunches and dinners in each household of the community, which will give us the opportunity to get to know the community members and their stories. Our goal is to learn about how a lifestyle centered on organic farming and producing handmade goods can influence the integration and welfare of differently-abled people in a cohesive community. We will be camping!
Altbreak pilot trip*: Tornado Relief in Joplin
Leaders: Dan Hirsch
Dates: October 15- 22
*This sub-free trip will follow the basic tenants of Altbreak, but will be co-led by a staff member and might have faculty/staff on it as well.
During the summer, RLC Dan Hirsch traveled to Joplin, MO to volunteer with AmeriCorps’ tornado relief efforts. The devastation was literally indescribable and according to FEMA will take 7-10 years to restore the area to its pre-tornado state. In addition to the destruction of commercial and business districts, over 7000 homes were destroyed and 4000 of those homes were not insured. There are still large residential areas that have not been cleaned up or debris removed and they need all assistance available. Dan’s plan is to take interested students down to Joplin and partner with AmeriCorps to help with these efforts; faculty and staff may also go on this trip.
ReNew: Biloxi Flood Relief and Rebuilding
Leaders: Madeline Eiler, Kramer McLuckie, Cary Speck, Julia Tse
Dates: October 15- 23
This trip will take a group of 10 students (and 4 leaders) to Biloxi, Mississippi to work with Hope Community Development Agency. We will work on rebuilding houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina and other major flooding since 2005. While tasks might vary, they could include hanging sheetrock, mudding, laying floors, or installing trim. When not working, we will have a chance to explore Biloxi, with such activities as going to the beach (right on the Gulf!), or grabbing lunch at a neighborhood po'boy shop. There will also be opportunities to contextualize the work through learning more about Katrina’s effect on Biloxi and the now six-year-long rebuilding process. We will leave Grinnell on Friday, October 15, work Monday through Friday, and return to Grinnell on Sunday October 23. We will be cooking for ourselves and staying in housing provided by Seashore United Methodist Assembly.