Trip Descriptions

For the 2019-2020 academic year, we are offering 2 timelines:

Our Immersion Experiences

As you read the immersion descriptions below, please note that some immersions are in partnership with other groups on campus and that some immersions have both staff and student leaders:

  • JUHAN: a “Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network” immersion experience with a health focus. The JUHAN Oaxaca trip is led by two student leaders and accompanied by a staff participant.
  • Magis: each of our Magis trips is coordinated in partnership with Campus Ministry and is co-led by two student leaders, a Trip Chaplain, and a Georgetown staff or faculty member. “Magis” means “more” or “deeper,” and the Magis immersions engage questions of faith and justice. 
  • Puerto Rico: this immersion is co-led by two student leaders and a staff leader
  • Worker Justice DC: in partnership with Kalmanovitz Initiative for labor and the worker program, this immersion is co-led by two student leaders and a KI staff member.

Please refer to our FAQ page for information about scholarships, fundraising, partnerships, and other questions you may have.

Immersion Experience Descriptions:

Criminal Justice Immersion

Trip Location: New York City & Washington, DC

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

This immersion is an experience that hopes to awaken students to the realities and injustices of the prison system, as well as highlighting the individual experience within this system. Ideally, this is a diverse group of students from Georgetown who have a passion for greater awareness, but we are cognizant of the self-selection of trips such as these. On the trip, we will spend half our time in New York City, visiting community partners to discuss bail reform, immigrant rights, and the state of NYC jails. The rest of the trip will be spent in DC, visiting jail and prison facilities and talking to community partners here about policing, mandatory minimums, and other relevant issues. Further, the goal is to broaden the perspectives of the students on the trip in regards to the criminal justice; as well as to make community partners that we meet with feel supported and that their actions have reached the students of Georgetown. We want to leave everywhere we visit better than the way we found it.

DC Education Immersion

Trip Location: Washington, DC

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

DC Education Immersion seeks to challenge Georgetown students to grapple with the educational inequality and injustice in Washington DC. We immerse ourselves in the ways socioeconomic status, race, and immigration status intersect with students’ access to education. We compare and contrast the quality, impact, accessibility of education in various types of schools in DC, including public, private, and charter schools. Through classroom visits, engagement with policy makers, and conversations with teachers and administrators, participants gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings and outside influences of the education system in the District. Throughout the trip, we aim to understand how our own educational experiences have shaped how we perceive the issues we encounter. DCEI hopes to demonstrate that everyone has a role to play in education and to encourage greater advocacy for educating the whole person.

Habitat for Humanity

Trip Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

We hope to gain a deep understanding of the causes of and responses to the housing crisis in Asheville through direct service work and collaboration with our community partners. We provide direct service with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that assists communities in coming together to build and establish affordable housing and stability. Through serving with Habitat and learning from community members, we hope to develop a deep understanding of the housing crisis in Asheville and how different identities intersect in relation to housing and poverty. We hope that participants will be able to take what they learn on this trip and apply it to their own communities.

Health and Society

Trip Location: New York City & Washington, DC

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

The Health & Society trip will explore the state of healthcare in our backyard in Washington, DC as well as in New York City by engaging in dialogue with community members, activists, and organizers, and public health experts. We examine a number of perspectives within healthcare including social justice-oriented reform, economic and political outlooks, and the opportunities and challenges healthcare will face in the future. Along the way, we hope to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the complexities of healthcare in America, the health disparities that arise among marginalized groups and individuals, and the work we and other activists can do to make healthcare accessible and equitable for all.

JUHAN

Trip Location: Oaxaca, Mexico

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: Fundraising Required

Building on Child and Family Health International’s 25 year history in Oaxaca, JUHAN Oaxaca aims to practice cultural humility by actively listening to the community. By placing students in the current healthcare system through observational rotations at clinics, hospitals, and indigenous healing practices, we hope to gain an appreciation for the social determinants of health in the community. We hope to connect with a variety of stakeholders and community members to hear how a stratified healthcare system impacts their access to quality care. Furthermore, we hope to learn what factors and strengths in health systems in Oaxaca must be implemented to achieve a sustainable healthcare system, in Oaxaca and in DC. By practicing ethical immersion abroad, we hope to practice solidarity, recognizing where we may be able to make a positive impact in the community and where our value is best placed in listening to those around us as they advocate for healthcare as a human right.

Magis Atlanta

Trip Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

Atlanta’s history is deeply rooted in its racial and religious identity, as it is home to some of the country’s largest concentrations of religious groups and is the nation’s second-largest majority-black metro area. This immersion experience explores the intersectionality between the racial and religious injustices many marginalized groups endure and how different groups use faith activism to address them. Throughout the experience, we hope to learn about how historical leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild, used religious and faith-based communities to create unified communities and how modern leaders are continuing their legacy. Magis Atlanta intends to meet with those facing racial and religious injustice including religious centers, LGBTQ+ communities, and individuals taking action. As a Magis trip, our goal is to do “more.” Not only are we taking away knowledge about what is happening in Atlanta, but critically thinking about injustice and what is being done to combat it. We hope participants then take that and apply it to what they do here on the Hilltop and how they too combat racial and religious injustice today.

Magis Cuba

Trip Location: Havana, Cuba

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: Fundraising Required

Music is a universal language that allows us to connect with people on a deep, spiritual level. Through the Magis Cuba immersion, we hope to use music and jam sessions throughout the week as an entry point to connect with and learn about many of the communities the Jesuits in Cuba work with. As we build community amongst Georgetown participants and residents of Havana through the shared medium of music and community partner visits, we hope to center the voices and experiences of the Cuban people. Together, we explore the power of music to both express and reinforce cultural contexts, and how the magis encourages us to accompany and be in solidarity. Musical expertise is not expected; a willingness to participate in music jam sessions is required.

Magis DC

Trip Location: Washington, DC

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

What makes a “home?” Both elusive and taken for granted, the human desire for “home” rests at the heart of many political and economic dilemmas as well as interpersonal and spiritual struggles. On this Alternative Spring Break, we will grapple with what the definition of home is for each of us, and for the world. We will sit down with many religious, secular, and interfaith actors and organizations who work in myriad ways to build “homes” for others. We will learn from those who meet the basic needs of the community; activists on homelessness, gentrification, and environment. We will engage with members of the community who dig deep to articulate one’s home amidst the cosmos, such as teachers, religious leaders, and interfaith practitioners. Throughout the week, students will be invited to compare these perspectives while encountering their own understandings of what home consists of, from material, geographic, social, and spiritual angles. Underlying these issues is the question of what it means to be a “neighbor;” students will consider the ways in which we live in community with diverse others and what responsibilities we have to build a common home. These immersive experiences will encourage critical thinking, development of interfaith dialogue skills, and reflection on Georgetown’s values of “Contemplation in Action” and “Interreligious Understanding.”

Magis Dominican Republic

Trip Location: Dajabon, DR and Ouanaminthe, Haiti

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: Fundraising Required

Magis Dominican Republic Alternative Break Program is a 8-day cultural immersion experience that takes participants into the communities and organizations at the Northern Haitian-Dominican border. Our cultural investigation will take us to the Cibao Valley and Dajabòn, featuring interaction with Dominican farm workers and Haitian immigrants. We hope participants learn about the history and current experiences of those living in this community, specifically highlighting those of Haitians, Dominicans of Haitian descent, and Dominicans living and working on the border. Magis DR focuses on the ways power, privilege and oppression present themselves in this cultural context of communities at the border, with a focus on race, ethnicity, gender, and other intersecting identities.

Magis Kino Border Immersion(KBI)

Trip Location: Tucson, AZ & Nogales, Mexico

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: Fundraising Required

Magis Kino Border Immersion is a partnership between the Center for Social Justice and the Office of Campus Ministry that strives to build participants’ understanding of immigration and intersecting issues. Through interactions with a wide range of stakeholders in the Arizona-Mexico border region, participants will learn about the structures that shape migration and gain a firsthand look at different sides and stages of the issue. By engaging in dialogue with migrants, faith leaders, advocacy groups, direct service providers, and law enforcement, we will attempt to humanize the issue, escape reductive stereotypes and misconceptions, and address the various biases fueling the current domestic divisions over 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 in the United States. Ultimately, KBI aims to facilitate a sustained commitment to education, activism, and solidarity with the migrant justice movement in our communities on the Hilltop, in DC, and around the country.

Magis Peru

Trip Location: Lima, Peru

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: Fundraising Required

Magis Peru connects engaged and interested Georgetown students with local leaders across Peru who are developing community-based solutions to broad societal problems. Students leave Peru with a sense of solidarity, inspired by the essential work of our community partners and equipped with the tools to lead and support similar initiatives in their own communities. Participants have the opportunity to fully experience the historic and diverse city of Lima, from its urban center to semi-ruralized suburbs, guided by representatives and students from Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, a sister Jesuit university to Georgetown. Throughout the week, participants witness local problem-solving from a variety of approaches in an array of subject areas. For example, participants see how communities tackle issues like improving urban housing, composting waste in crowded environments, educating children in rural areas, and preserving indigenous cultural heritage. Participants stay with and learn from community members during the immersion experience, all while pushing each other to challenge preconceived notions and consider how to address physical and identity-based issues in their own communities. Magis Peru is ideal for students interested in engaging with Jesuit service and reflection, respectfully uplifting local voices, and learning about grassroots problem-solving.

Mental Health Immersion

Trip Location: New York City & Washington, DC

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

Mental Health Immersion will seek to discern the complex intersections of issues concerning social justice and mental health in Washington, D.C. by engaging in community outreach and partnership, stimulating intersectional dialogue, and meaningful group and individual reflection. We will shed light on the unique ways in which mental health affects the lives of diverse communities in order to narrow the knowledge gap and emphasize the need for increased mental health rights awareness and advocacy. Our team will grapple with the important questions that surround mental health in a dynamic world by taking a holistic approach to understanding the many aspects involved and thus formulating a deeper sense of empathy and solidarity with those affected and with one another.

Puerto Rico: Decolonizing Disaster Relief

Trip Location: Puerto Rico

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

Many of us do not associate colonialism and imperialism as present-day occurrences, yet there are numerous examples of countries that are still under the influence of imperial powers. In the context of Puerto Rico, the immersion experience aims to investigate the island’s status as a US territory and how that has shaped the systemic failures in natural disaster relief. However, as a pilot program, this experience would seek to provide a nuanced understanding of Puerto Rico and their historical ties to the United States. Throughout the trip, participants have the opportunity to be in the presence of groups that have done powerful organizing and are given the privilege to hear stories of resilience from the established communities in Puerto Rico. Through these interactions, we will explore different viewpoints regarding movements between statehood and independence. Our goal as an immersion trip is for our participants to view Puerto Rico as more than a tourist spot and to understand and acknowledge the nuanced history of Puerto Rico and the impacts our decisions as American “citizens” have on the island.

Spring Break in Appalachia: Education & Economic Justice

Trip Location: Pulaski, Virginia

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

Participants in this immersion will work with Beans and Rice, a local organization dedicated to helping the communities of Southwestern Virginia advance their economic positions and opportunities. We maximize our impact by working in different programs involving local schools, students, and various community projects. In addition to our work with Beans and Rice, we get involved with a few other educational and economic initiatives to see and be part of their impact on the local environment, and contribute our own knowledge from GU to their work. Because we can only directly serve for one week, we also aim to educate trip participants about the region of Appalachia so that we can come away with an understanding of a community that is different from the one we have at Georgetown.

Spring Break in Appalachia: Mountain Environmental Justice

Trip Location: Harlan, Kentucky

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

On the SBIA Mountain Environmental Justice immersion, we develop a people- and eco-centric way of inquiring about environmental and socioeconomic issues in Appalachia. Furthermore, we will explore the importance of community, place, and empathy in coming to solutions. Our immersion is a mixture of physical and emotional work. We help repair homes with COAP, a local housing justice organization, but we also open ourselves to the Harlan community and make a genuine effort to immerse ourselves in the community’s culture — covering everything from historical narratives to music to food. Both the participants and the community should benefit. The community should feel seen, listened to, and cared for, and the participants should feel their perspectives and empathies broaden. This trip connects people across cultures and perspectives in a way that will change how we view community and our relationship with our environment.

Spring Break in Detroit

Trip Location: Detroit, Michigan

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

Detroit is a city with many different stories. The birthplace of car manufacturing and Motown music has gone through many changes over the years. Detroit today is “coming back,” and the downtown area in the city is booming with life and new businesses. However, not everyone is experiencing this growth equally. For generations, people have lived and built communities in Detroit but often their stories are not told. When Detroit “came back” it experienced the resurgence of its more affluent residents and businesses. However, for Detroit to truly restore its former cultural and economic prosperity it needs healthy, educated, and connected communities. In order to learn more about the city’s history, neighborhoods, and communities we will learn from experts all around the city working to make sure everyone is included in the new age for Detroit. Detroit faces a mosaic of complicated issues, and we want to learn more about the people involved, the solutions, and the art and culture that result from a community grappling with these important questions.

Worker Justice DC

Trip Location: Washington, DC

Trip Dates: Spring Break (March 7-14, 2020)

Trip Fees: $320

Worker Justice DC aims to explore the intersection of working-class identity, a changing economy, and global labor in the context of Washington, D.C. By taking a lens focused on US immigration, the emergence of the gig economy, emotional labor, and other uncompensated and unrecognized labor, we will begin to understand the issues that impact workers in DC. How does this lens affect the way we address access to housing and transportation, lack of dignified working conditions, unfair wages, prison labor, and discriminatory immigration and policing policies? We ask ourselves how workers, unions, community organizers, policy makers, and government organizations actively respond to these challenges in order to address inequality and oppression in the District. As we interact with the physical and social geography of the District, we seek to understand the role that different identities play in workers’ workplaces and lives, as well as in their struggles for liberation. During the program we reflect on our own identities, how we have come to form our perspectives on labor, our place in the global labor system, and how to organize in solidarity with workers locally and around the world. Students leave the program with the tools to engage with labor justice both on and off campus, and a better understanding of how workers navigate the challenges of a capitalist system that values profits over the dignity of workers.