Alternative Breaks Program
At ABP, we believe that everyone has a role to play in building a more just world. We believe this work is urgent. And we believe that the work of “immersion” extends far beyond “travel.”
We are committed to creating immersion experiences rooted in solidarity during this challenging time. To read more about how we are navigating immersion in the context of a pandemic, please read our COVID-19 page. To read more about our response to racial injustice, please read our statement and refer to CSJ’s Black Lives Matter page for resources.
The Alternative Breaks Program (ABP) brings together Georgetown community members in order to foster intersectional solidarity and inspire lasting commitments to service and social justice. ABP trips engage with diverse and vibrant communities through direct service, immersion, and reflection in a substance-free environment. By creating a space for sustained dialogue and action, ABP strives to build long-term relationships with community partners and bring the experience home.
The ABP traces its rich history back to 1975, when a group of Georgetown students elected to spend their spring break in Appalachia. Since its founding, ABP has expanded to connect Georgetown students, faculty, and staff to over fifty different domestic and international communities. Currently, ABP supports 18 immersion experiences that examine a diverse set of intersecting social justice issues ranging from poverty to prison reform.
Each immersion experience consists of three phases:
- Pre-trip: context and education
- Trip: immersion on site during the Alternative Break, meeting with community partners; experience and reflection
- Post-trip: reflection, action, and evaluation
In order to achieve its mission, ABP has five ABPillars:
- Justice immersion
- Community building
- Substance-free fun
And five primary Best Practices:
- Ask Why
- Be Present
- Challenge Your Perspective
- Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
- Bring It Home
These practices are used throughout ABP – during pre-trip activities, the week of spring break, post-trip activities – and beyond.