Alternative Breaks: BGSU Students Combating Social Injustice
BG Alternative Breaks (bGAB) is a student-led program within the Office of Service-Learning that prepares groups of students to collaborate with communities experiencing social injustices by learning about, providing direct service for, and reflecting on a specific social issue during BGSU academic breaks.
This crowdfunding campaign will help to raise money to cover participant fees for our fall breaks (October 10-13) to Detroit and Indianapolis. Expenses include travel (van rentals and gas) to break locations, meals for the participants, housing for the group, and any other site fees related to the trip (background checks, etc.). With the help of this campaign, bGAB participants will be able to go out and begin creating a world without injustice.
This fall, we are sending two groups of students to focus on the issue of Urban Poverty and Revitalization. We invite your to read more about our trips below:
Challenging the Dominant Narrative; The Heart of Revitalization - Detroit, MI
Despite a rich history that has shaped parts of the culture of our nation, the Metro Detroit area has experienced the brunt of one of the hardest hitting recessions in American history. Following the fall of the auto industry and a mass flight to the suburbs of Detroit, internal turmoil and external doubt has left many outsiders with the misconception that Detroit is a lost cause. Among the most destructive of its aggressors is the worldwide media, who tends to cast shame on the city rather than supporting solutions and portraying the real life stories of Detroit citizens. bGAB students will be working with two community organizations that work to improve the lives of the people who live in Detroit while showing incredible pride for the city they love.
- Cass Community Social Services is a Detroit-based agency that works across the city in areas of concentrated poverty, providing programs for food, health, housing, and jobs. Their sustainable philosophy of providing individuals with jobs, thus skills and experience, transcends traditional social services because they are preparing individuals to transition out of homelessness by providing resources and services that support their success.
- The Motor City Blight Busters is a grassroots organization that works to end blight and transform vacant and/or potentially dangerous neighborhoods in Detroit into positive, community areas. This group of dedicated Detroit natives has created a movement, redefining the perceptions of Detroit and creating awareness for all that the city has to offer.
Stabilizing the Community & Building Relationships Across Racial and Socio-Economic Barriers - Indianapolis, IN
Behind a $4.4 billion tourism industry there lies growing income and poverty disparity in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Decline in good-paying manufacturing jobs and growth of lower-wage service jobs has led to a 29 percent increase in people living in poverty in Indiana since the year before the Recession. As of 2013, nearly 1 out of every 5 residents live below the poverty line which is nearly double the national rate. In the city of Indianapolis, Latino Americans experience the brunt of this injustice with the highest rates of poverty over every other ethnic group. bGAB students will work with an organization in the city that is striving to improve the lives of the citizens of Indianapolis through housing renewal.
- Rebuilding the Wall is a non-profit organization that stabilizes low-income families by providing the opportunity for home ownership through the renovation of vacant inner city properties. They combat social injustice by "building relationships across racial and socio-economic barriers," and strive to stabilize the community by recycling resources within their Indianapolis neighborhoods.
What this project means to BGSU students
This project is incredibly important to our organization and participants for many reasons. Through this project, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of their service work with the community to create positive change and stimulate meaningful dialogues about the issues communities are facing. Alternative Breaks help students understand and appreciate new cultural perspectives and develop meaningful relationships with the community and other BGSU students. As we strive to create active citizens out of our student participant, this project creates a culture of common good at BGSU, which is something we want to continue to pass down to our future Falcons.
Your donation matters
Your investment in our trips will enable more students to participate, some of whom do not have the funds to go on a trip. With the generosity of donors like you, you are serving as a catalyst for social change at BGSU and beyond, as we strive to create a world without injustice. As we look forward, any extra money that is raised will go toward decreasing the financial burden for those students who would not normally be able to consider joining our trips. There are many costs associated with making our trips quality experiences, but, as always, a donation of any amount will help! You can also help by sharing this project via email and social media to friends or family you believe would be interested investing in us. Thank you!