For the 2020–2021 academic year, all immersions are scheduled for Spring Break, Sunday, March 28–Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Apply here!
We are offering 10 *VIRTUAL* & *FREE* immersions this year:
Criminal Injustice Systems
Virtual; Partners in NYC and DC
This immersion trip aims to expose the cruelties and realities of the criminal “justice” system in America, both by looking at the justice system as a whole and by considering how the system impacts particular individuals and specific communities. This trip will incorporate a diverse group of students from Georgetown seeking to apply systems-level thinking to reconsider American legal systems. First, we are dedicated to incorporating material from the Equal Justice Initiative and Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama to acknowledge the legacy of slavery in our justice system. In addition, we will take a closer look at the school-to-prison pipeline in D.C, the juvenile justice system, and consider the conditions that incarcerated people face at jails near Georgetown’s campus. Our goal is to learn from community partners about how our legal systems impact communities at several levels, including youth, individuals with mental illness, and BIPOC. We will also consider current policing and justice issues such as the Defund the Police and abolitionist movements. Finally, we will draw upon each other’s unique perspectives as we examine these issues, and we will work to make sure our community partners feel recognized and appreciated for the hard work they do to dismantle the layered injustices of our “justice” system.
DC Food Justice
Virtual; Partners in DC
DC Food Justice will explore the reasons why a “rich and powerful” country like the United States of America fails to adequately feed the people in its capital despite an abundance of resources. We will start by examining the political and economic forces that influenced food policy and the food industry from the early 20th century to the present. Throughout this immersion, we will unpack specific obstacles to food justice, such as complicated food policies that exclude non-English speakers or inequitable urban planning that creates “food deserts,” or neighborhoods that lack easy access to fresh food. We will attempt to understand how capitalism plays into food justice by analyzing mainstream media channels’ decisions to advertise an “organic” lifestyle while stigmatizing the GMO products they once glorified. We will investigate how programs such as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and public school lunches disenfranchise and discriminate based on race. To remain rooted in the current moment of the COVID-19 crisis, we also wish to learn more about how this pandemic affects food availability and accessibility for the communities of color that have been affected the most. We hope participants leave DCFJ with a better grasp of the complexity of food justice issues and the energy and insight to take action to change them.
Detroit Housing Justice
Virtual; Partners in Detroit
Detroit is a city with tremendous history from its booming car industry to being the second largest theater district in the country. Detroit has definitely made a lasting impression on U.S. history. Our mission on this virtual immersion is to better understand the complicated history and current reality of housing and racial justice in Detroit. The Detroit housing crisis began in the early 1700s when European colonizers enslaved indigenous and Black people, exploiting their bodies to help themselves build generational wealth through homeownership. White exclusivity in these spaces has helped form the housing crisis into what we know of it today. Today, the median household income in Detroit is roughly half of the state median income while the poverty rate in the city is twice the state poverty rate, worsening the housing crisis. On this trip, we will focus on the communities in Detroit and what they are doing to combat this issue.
Health & Society
Virtual; Partners in NYC and DC
Health and Society is an immersive trip that examines the modern-day healthcare system in DC and NY. This trip allows for productive dialogue with community members, leaders, and healthcare professionals about health disparities. We’ll discuss the intersectionality of injustices such as implicit bias in medicine, food insecurity, lack of resources, and lack of education that impacts marginalized communities. We hope to gain connections and bring awareness with communities about the resources available. Participants should be able to clearly identify these systems of injustice and bring these dialogues back to Georgetown.
DC Housing Justice
Virtual; Partners in DC
Our housing justice immersion aims to bring to light the issues facing unhoused BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folx and the inadequacy of publicly-funded resources for ending housing instability. Homelessness has existed in DC for decades. Currently, there are roughly 10,000 vacant apartments in DC. In January 2020, 6,380 people were counted as unhoused individuals. For many, the length of time they stay in shelters can be more than five years until getting housed permanently. Others choose to camp out because the risks they take with their health and safety in a congregate shelter can sometimes be higher than in an encampment. At least 21 unhoused people in DC died from COVID in 2020. We believe that the people who have experienced housing instability should be given a voice and organizations that keep failing them should get off their high horse and listen. If our participants gain the insight to be able to at least distinguish true advocacy that yields positive results from feeding unhoused folx with diet-and-life-style-induced chronic health conditions just any kind of food, then they learn something so many organizations keep from the public.
Virtual; Partners in Louisiana
Magis GU272 believes that a self-reflective journey into our nation’s past is not only helpful but essential to getting students to ask the right questions. How do we rebuild a system built on an unjust foundation? Where is the tension between immediate action and systemic change? And most importantly, who decides? This immersion is designed to empower the descendants of the GU272, the people of Maringouin, and the descendants of American chattel slavery to reset their historical narratives. For students, their job is to listen, experience, serve, and most importantly: learn. It is only through direct conversation with descendants and those connected with this living history can we learn about our university’s actions holistically. We will take an assets-based approach, which prioritizes community assets Maringouin has already built (with any involvement from Georgetown University only furthering the culture and history already in place). Each day we will focus on an important piece of dialogue about enslavement and its ever-present effects on American life, from criminal justice to education to housing.
Magis Kino Border Immersion
Virtual; Partners in Arizona
Magis Kino Border Immersion is a collaborative effort among Georgetown participants and Migrant Justice community leaders to gain a deeper understanding about immigration and systems that govern immigration from a humanitarian and legal perspective, through learning from experts, professionals, immigrants, the media and each other. We aim to learn and acknowledge how this experience will not necessarily provide us with expertise in the field of immigration, but rather allow us to have a venue to gain knowledge and discuss critical intersections of immigration. The Jesuit values of inter-religious understanding, faith and justice, community in diversity, and contemplation in action will guide our efforts to understand the motivations for migration, the experience of migration, and the challenges faced by migrants. The participants will have a chance to talk to professionals in the Arizona-Mexico border region such as migrant lawyers, religious leaders, migrants themselves, law enforcements, and migrant justice community leaders as well as those who work in international organizations, who will bring an international perspective to the program.
Spring Break in Appalachia: Education & Economic Justice
Virtual; Partners in Virginia
SBIA Education and Economic Justice seeks to find answers to two key questions: how does a rural environment impact educational experiences in remote and under-resourced areas? how can communities there best support their children to achieve academic, social, and economic success? Implicit in these questions is the relationship between economic hardship and educational outcomes, so with the help of the local non-profit Beans and Rice, our trip will examine firsthand the educational system in Pulaski, VA. Participants will interact with students, faculty, and administrators from Pulaski County Schools through activities like virtual tutoring, phone-banking, and workshops. Additionally, our trip will engage with small local businesses, food pantries, and community centers to better understand the economic landscape of Appalachia. As a culmination of our experiences, we will discuss topics ranging from food security, racial discrimination, and religion in rural America to job markets, big corporations, and brain drain. We will employ simulations, guest speakers, and documentaries to facilitate these discussions. Mindful of the current moment, our trip will also dive into Pulaski’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in schools, at home, and in the community. We hope that participants gain a sharper insight into the relationship between economic stability and educational success, and between rural living and the American dream. In the end, we want to be able to convert our learning experiences into support and action for communities like Pulaski.
Spring Break in Appalachia: Mountain Environmental Justice
Virtual; Partners in Kentucky
MEJ participants will engage with residents of Harlan, Kentucky in order to learn how the United States’ declining coal industry has affected Appalachia’s economy, and in turn, its local lifestyle. Through this immersion, we hope to gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s coal culture (the cultural habits that develop in coal-dependent communities) and examine how transitioning toward a “green” economy affects this culture through the issues of gender, race, age, and art. Throughout the immersion, we will work closely with our long-standing community partner COAP Inc., a nonprofit that builds environmentally friendly homes in Harlan. These topics are especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has widened disparities in the area and strained relationships with the environment. Our primary objectives are to return to Georgetown with a greater sense of empathy for those affected by the declining coal industry, a personal reconciliation between coal economies and the environment, and an appreciation for the Appalachian mountain culture that binds communities together.
Worker Justice DC
Virtual; Partners in DC
Worker Justice DC, in partnership with the Kalmanovitz Initiative (KI), challenges Georgetown students to investigate the multitude of injustices that workers face—ranging from the inaccessibility of resources, discrimination, working conditions, and exploitation—through the community and NGOs. We will begin to learn how worker injustice adversely affects people in underprivileged and marginalized communities: immigrant workers, LGBTQ workers, temporary workers, workers abroad, and many others. Additionally, we aim to explore not only the injustices that laborers face in the workplace, but also in day-to-day life in DC, such as transportation, housing, healthcare, and accessibility to government assistance. Subsequently, we will also reflect on our roles in the working world and the economy. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will also discuss how current events have highlighted labor issues and the effects of policy on the workers. We aim to bring a sense of connection and build solidarity between the Georgetown community and DC’s working community to tackle the systematic oppression faced by marginalized workers.