Alternative Break Experiences

Alternative Spring Break 2014

Please join us this March for our alternative spring break trip! We’re going to head to New Bern and Wilmington, NC to work with local domestic violence, sexual assault, and child serving organizations. We’ll leave on Saturday, March 8 and return to campus on the morning of Sunday, March 16. The cost for the trip will be $60.

Click here for the application, due Friday, January 31 by 5pm.

Email Shelley Gist at sgist@live.unc.edu for more information.

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Alternative Fall Break 2013

For our fall break trip, we partnered with Our Voice, a rape crisis center in Asheville, NC. Our team of nine undergraduate students participated in a bar outreach program. The goal of the bar outreach program was to educate bartenders and bar owners about drug and alcohol facilitated sexual assault and encourage bystander intervention. We received training from Our Voice and then split up in teams to cover the town, going into bars, restaurants, and clubs across Asheville. Our team was equipped with informational handouts for bar owners, educational sheets to distribute to bartenders and other staff members, information on upcoming bystander intervention trainings through Our Voice, and tear off sheets for bathroom stalls with Our Voice’s rape crisis hotline number. We had a lot of success in our conversations with bar staff, any many people were interested in receiving further training in intervention through Our Voice!

In addition to our outreach work, our group got to explore downtown Asheville, hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, have group discussions about our experiences and what we learned, and bond as a team! The next step is bringing what we learned back to Chapel Hill to work with a budding bar outreach program through the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. We hope to help make the program successful in improving awareness and safety in our own community.

To read one student’s experiences on the trip, check out this blog post!

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Alternative Spring Break 2013

For our pilot run of the Alternative Break Program, we took a team of ten undergraduate students on a nine-day trip to eastern NC to work with local domestic violence, sexual assault, and child serving organizations. Over the course of the trip, we performed manual labor such as painting, sanding, yard work, and organizing spaces; we also collected over 4,000 lbs of food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC and helped out with the Brigade Boys and Girls Club after school program.

While at The Promise Place of New Bern and The Carousel Center in Wilmington, we met with the organizations’ directors to hear about how their programs run, how their services benefit people, what it looks like to be in their line of work, and how our work helped further their efforts to serve the local community. Our team was also given a 3-hour training on child sexual abuse prevention.

In addition, we got to explore the two towns, spend some time on the beach, bond as a team, and have group discussions about the issues of poverty, gender equity, and child abuse. It was a really great experience and we’re looking forward to expanding the program in the future!

Feedback from the Spring Break Team:

“It was a great combination of personal growth and community engagement.”

“The daily grind and stress of UNC had made me forget about my true passions, but this trip made me remember my deep desire to combat issues of social justice.”

“Personally connecting with the centers really solidified my understanding of the issues that women’s and children’s groups advocate for.”

“Through this trip I was able to better work through my own personal experiences.”

“I had a great time volunteering at all the places that we did, and I also met some truly amazing ladies on this trip. This trip will most certainly be a highlight of my time at UNC!”

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