BIS Students!

Participants are needed for the upcoming Alternative Breaks for Spring and Summer 2022! Applications will be due November 1st for the domestic/Spring Alternative Breaks and December 15th for the international/Summer Alternative Breaks! Read below for details and how to apply.

“As college students, we are fortunate to have so many opportunities to learn about social issues. The key to resolving social issues will always be within the communities themselves. SAIL Alternative Break trips are an amazing way to work directly with communities and learn about their needs…Social action is not only about writing papers and conducting research. It’s about creating communities with people with experiences different than your own.”

Mason’s Alternative Break (AB) programs are collaboratively designed by students, community organizations and staff to address social issues through education and direct service.  Students emerge from these experiences transformed with new ideas, perspective, and experiences that inspire active and engaged citizenship. Students work in partnership with host organizations on community-driven goals, focused on a particular social justice topic. Through exploration and immersion into the social issue long before the trip starts, students are able to interrogate the root causes of social issues in a way that allows them to engage compassionately and think critically. Upon their return, students are encouraged to engage in their own communities through informed, meaningful action.

As the future of this pandemic is uncertain and ever changing, we are keeping an eye on what is possible but we are planning to be in person for the majority of our trips with a new trip that combines DC and Amsterdam that will be a hybrid experience over the Summer 2022 where you can be in person, attend fully virtually or do a hybrid approach where you attend the DC portion virtually and the Amsterdam portion virtually as best we can.

We plan to offer five programs focused on social justice issues as diverse as ecosystem restoration to indigenous rights, homelessness and housing insecurity, community health, education, and more. Our partners are eager to have us back in person and we will do our best to ensure the safety of all participants.

Spring 2022 March 12-19th

The Color of Justice: Mass Incarceration & Environmental Justice in Camden, NJ<>

Ecosystem Restoration: Stuart, Florida<>

Unlocking the Dream: Food Justice and Community Activism in Atlanta, GA<>

Summer 2022 (Tentatively May 22-31st)

Indigenous Culture, Education, and Equity: Guatemala<>

It’s Not Them but Us - Turning the Tide on HIV and AIDS: Washington, DC and Amsterdam (Hybrid Option)<>

The application is open and you can apply here today:

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. Or visit our website to find spotlights of some of our previous trip leaders and participants to learn more about their experience! We hope you will consider applying and being a part of this continued reimagining for Alternative Breaks as we work hard to ensure social responsibility and care with our partners and communities we have been interacting with for many years.

"I chose the ‘It’s Not Them but Us - Turning the Tide on HIV/AIDS: Washington, DC’ Alternative Breaks trip because as a Global and Community Health major, I was looking to learn about social determinants of health. My trip deepened my understanding of health stigma and educated me of the impacts sexual education, harm reduction, and food insecurity has on people who are HIV positive, or are at high-risk of becoming HIV positive. Learning about these risk factors helped me further realize of the importance of volunteerism and the impact of recognizing societal issues on a human-level of equality while also utilizing my privilege to help others. This social issue means a lot to me because it taught me so much about the power of community activism and the importance of listening to people with lived experience.”

With gratitude,

SAIL Alternative Breaks Team

Patty Mathison  (she/her/hers)
Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL)
Mason's Center for Community Engagement
School of Integrative Studies (SIS)
George Mason University, Enterprise Hall 441
Fairfax, VA 22030


Belief | Adaptability | Developer | Individualization | Activator

"Authentic community change moves at the speed of trust.” Liz Weaver

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