The Alternative Spring Break idea is a good one in general when care is taken so the programs don't become watered down infotainment tours. Students get a chance to experience something new, get some exciting stories to tell, and learn about the world. The American University program ("Alt-Break") writes the following:
Alternative Breaks are student-initiated and organized trips to domestic and international locations with a variety of social justice themes. Trips intend to critically reflect on our role in the global community through service, activism, academic inquiry and leadership - while having fun at the same time . . . Alternative Breaks are experiences that emphasize self-awareness through a critical debriefing and analytical process before, during, and after the trips. Trips are inherently political in that they address structural systems of inequality, injustice, oppression, and marginalization
And that's something I can live with.
The presentation I gave is available from this website (in mini-format, and absent the, ahem, insightful commentary). Click on the image below to download it in Apple Quicktime format. Send me an email if you would like it in a much higher bandwidth PDF format (I'm looking at you, Linux users).
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