2020 SPRING BREAK INTERFAITH SERVICE TEAMS
When Two Worlds Collide: Dynamics and Challenges of the Texas/Mexico Border
Working with the Christian-based Borderlinks Delegation Program, this team will explore the tensions and dynamics, the cultures and opportunities, the brokenness and the beauty of life on both sides of the Texas/Mexico border. Unlike most of the other interfaith service teams, this team will have a much higher focus on education than direct service. The issues of borders and boundaries are complex enough that we must understand before we can help. As team members experience life on the border and meet with various organizations, they will come to see the ways in which our two worlds are really just one.
Return to Puerto Rico: Hurricane Maria Recovery
In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall over the island of Puerto Rico causing unparalleled devastation. While we will work with SBP (sbpusa.org—a non-profit formed by an OWU alum to assist with disaster recovery) to assist with the clean-up process, this team’s specific mission will be contingent on the actual needs of the community at that time. With the flexibility to face changing plans and needs, we will serve with the people of Puerto Rico as they seek to rebuild their homes and lives.
Dare to Understand: Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, PA
OWU’s strong and vibrant interfaith community will partner with The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia for an intense week of community service, leadership learning, and interfaith encounters. The “Dare to Understand” team will work with the Philly staff to develop a customized experience for our personal growth by confronting our preconceived notions of “The Other," and then transform those ideas into a deeper respect for diversity and difference which goes beyond mere tolerance to active cooperation and care.
Gender, Sexuality, and Poverty: Navigating Overlapping Realities in New York City
We often hear people talking about the challenges faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in our country and across the world. We also hear about the challenges of urban poverty and access to resources. But how often do we hear about the people who inhabit both of those worlds? This team will work with various organizations across the city of New York who serve at the intersections of these overlapping realities, as well as the realities of race, religion, and more.
Building and Rebuilding: Lakota Nation, SD
This intentionally interfaith team will engage in the long-term mission to rebuild Lakota-Anglo relationships through respectful conversation, deep critical reflection, and dedicated service. We will work with Lakota Youth Development, located on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Lakota Youth Development is an organization serving an important function for those living on and off reservations as a site for cultural learning and growth, guidance for youth, and aid for Lakota people with physical impairments. With an open mind, an open heart, and a desire to learn from perspectives far beyond our own, we will thoughtfully examine both the damage done by Christian missionaries in this place, and the powerful potential for healing between our broken cultures.