2019 SPRING BREAK INTERFAITH SERVICE TEAMS
Helping Houston Heal: Hurricane Harvey Recovery
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall over the Texas coast and the greater metropolitan area of Houston, dumping record amounts of rainfall and causing devastating flooding. While we will work with SBP (sbpusa.org), a non-profit formed by an OWU alum to assist with disaster recovery, 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 Houston as they seek to rebuild their homes and lives.
Crossroads of the Powerful and Powerless: Washington, DC
Who is Washington, DC? Legislators with bills. Lobbyists with agendas. Politicians with ambitions. Activists with causes. Homeless men and women with needs. Immigrants with dreams. All people with lives to live. Our nation’s capital is all this and more. Team members will explore the many facets of power as it relates to the equally diverse dimensions of poverty. They will spend time both with the poor and those working on the grassroots level to alleviate poverty as well as lobbyists and politicians who strive to reduce poverty.
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.
Connecting with the Community: Bucerias, Mexico
In any kind of cross-cultural experience, the power of direct, respectful contact between two different groups can’t be overestimated. This team will be working with Human Connections, an organization that specializes in cross-cultural immersion with an eye towards growth and learning for all involved, in the town of Bucerias, Mexico. Together, they will explore the ideas of sustainable tourism as well as serve with community members as needed. Past projects have included construction, education, art, clean-up, and more, but the exact tasks of this team will depend on the expressed needs of the people in the community as the year progresses.