The ages of 18-25 are the lowest in volunteering. Yet, campus based alternative break programs continue to grow in participation numbers and in community impact. During the summer, Break Away trains the campus leadership of 100+ AB programs in a week-long experiential conference called the ABCs. Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti also is home to a pilot Active Citizen City, which is organizing alternative break alumni in the area to work on local issues. These two groups will work together during the week.
The Detroit metro area is rich with social justice history and opportunity, providing a unique space for learning through meaningful service. Detroit and its suburbs share a past of racial and socioeconomic segregation, influencing policies and affecting the various communities in the area. Several grassroots organizations are working to creating coalitions for change across difference and have initiated a number of programs and policies to address various social issues - we'll support this.
This microproject will support the costs involved in 60 college student leaders coming to metro Detroit for a week to contribute over 900 hours of direct service as they also learn about the underlying social issues. Participants will return to their campuses capable of improving/building their own AB programs for 2013-2014, having identified potential community partners in southeast Michigan, and having deeper education on community organizing practices around targeted social issues.
The ABCs will be utilized to develop the partnership between Break Away chapter schools and community-based organizations. Working in Detroit will be an endeavor of meeting with community members, non-profits, lawmakers and advocacy organizations, as a way of entering a community respectfully and with invitation in order to obtain commitment to a long-term partnership welcoming of breakers. We will work with Detroiters differently than the trend of well-meaning outsiders who come to "fix" it.