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2019 - 2020 ASB Trips

There are 10 2019-2020 ASB trips.


  • Asian-American Issues: From Identity to Action

What does it mean to be “Asian American”? Are “Asian” and “Asian American” the same thing? Is the term “Asian American” a contradiction? These questions reveal that the term “Asian American,” while seemingly simple and all-encompassing, often casts Asian Americans as a homogeneous group—rendering the complexities behind Asian American experiences invisible. This includes a broad range of challenges affecting Asian Americans of all ages and backgrounds: from workers’ and immigrants’ rights to racism, healthcare, LGBTQ issues, education, and more. Asian Americans and their predecessors have been present in the United States for four centuries, but many of their stories remain untold. This Alternative Spring Break Program will bring Asian American issues to light and inspect them with critical lenses. In this Alternative Spring Break trip, we will analyze how social, political, and economic factors affect the formation of identities and use this framework to challenge common narratives about Asian Americans. First, we will explore Asian American identities, the history of Asians in America, and the Asian American Movement. Then, we will use this knowledge to study a broad range of contemporary campaigns such as workers’ and immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental justice, and educational and socioeconomic disparities. We will also explore how Asian Americans have organized together across cultures to build solidarity and fight for justice. By exploring this spectrum, we will examine our own commonalities with these issues, regardless of our ethnic or cultural background. We will also explore these topics through different avenues of activism—art, community organizing, health services, and more—and learn the many ways we can take action. Over a span of seven days, we will be visiting Asian American community members and organizations in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, investigating how today’s activism is taking shape. Our trip includes service opportunities, historical tours, question and answer sessions with prominent Asian American activists, and more. We’ll work alongside other Stanford activists, grassroots non-profit organizations, and our activist elders. Ultimately, this trip aims to promote public service approaches to addressing inequities amongst social groups within the Asian American diaspora, other minority groups, and American society at large.


  • Capital or Community? Housing Inequality in the Bay Area

What, exactly, do people mean when they talk about the “housing crisis”? What does this look like here in the Bay Area, and how does this crisis impact the people who call this place home? How has government housing policy, from the local to the national level, helped contribute to the marginalization of various groups? What is gentrification and how does it relate to displacement? What is the role of Stanford and Stanford students in contributing to and addressing this crisis? This one unit course aims to explore these questions and more in an attempt to understand the complex and ongoing process of housing inequality in Stanford’s own backyard. We will specifically look at the Bay Area and how housing inequality intersects with the experience of marginalized groups, including immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. With a focus on the Bay Area and Stanford’s place in this, we will begin by looking at the anatomy of the current housing crisis and present-day discussions. Next, we will explore the historical processes that brought us here, including the legacy of urban planning, the influence of wealth and development, and the far-reaching impacts of racial segregation. Following this, we will explore the role that business interests in the Bay have played in exacerbating this crisis - with a specific focus on the tech industry. Finally, we will trace the impact that Stanford and Stanford students have, as well as potential solutions and means of resisting the worst effects of housing inequality. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of both the complex history of housing in the Bay Area and the intersection of housing rights with other contemporary struggles. The course is open to all students from all backgrounds and interests. Students do not need to have any kind of particular disciplinary training or specific knowledge about housing or the social landscape of different marginalized groups in order to partake in the class and the trip.


  • Cherokee Language Revitalization

Calling all writers, illustrators, and people interested in indigenous language revitalization! For the past 500 years, indigenous people have been fighting Western colonization. Language suppression has been a key component of the colonial agenda. From literature and research that sought to establish indigenous languages as inferior to European ones to state-run boarding schools which forbade indigenous children from speaking their mother tongue in order to “kill the Indian, save the man,” indigenous languages have endured centuries of racist slander and violence. Because of historic language suppression by the United States and other harsh facts of colonization, the extinction of many indigenous languages is generations away. In many tribes, there are only a couple thousand fluent speakers left and the vast majority of these speakers are elders. In this class we will be learning about Cherokee language revitalization efforts and creating children’s books to be used in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s immersion school, the New Kituwah Academy. Class topics include: basic Cherokee language lessons, Cherokee history and culture, technological language revitalization efforts, how to write and illustrate children’s books, and more! During the spring break trip, we will present our children’s books to the New Kituwah Academy, attend the annual Cherokee Language Symposium (hosted by Western Carolina University), spend a day of service outdoors, and engage with different community members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

  • ChiRoots: The Origins of Activism in the City

Chicago is a lively city that houses a large diversity of communities, ideas, and voices — all of which make the windy city a cradle for radical change and new possibilities. Unfortunately, Chicago and its people go largely misrepresented as the city is frequently characterized by violence, crime, and instability through diverse media outlets. With representations such as those seen in “Shameless” and “Chi-Raq”, Chicago is reduced to a stereotype, and these images of Chicago give little credit to the many activists making major changes at the grassroots level to benefit both local and global communities. In this class, we will delve into specific issues affecting Chicago and learn about their corresponding grassroot organization. Some issues that we will address are social justice, education, immigration, environmental racism, violence, cultural humility, segregation, and gentrification, among others. Through readings, discussions, and group activities, we aim at cultivating knowledge, empathy, humility, and consideration for how we can best engage with community members and leaders on our trip. Given our focus on Chicago, we will develop a deep understanding of the different forms of activism and community organizing that exist and are prevalent in the city as we are immersed in the communities that are personally affected. During the trip, students will learn from organizations we visit and how they are tackling issues presented in their communities. The trip will give students the opportunity to learn about embodied knowledge through dialogues from the organizations that will be visited and learn how to apply this type of knowledge back at Stanford and/or their affiliated communities. By the end of the trip, students will have a better understanding of styles of activism and community organizing, ultimately empowering them to develop their own approaches to certain issues they want to address.


  • Energy Challenge: Exploring Climate Change & Global Development

We are faced with the challenge of decarbonizing the global economy in 10 years, while expanding basic energy access to a billion people. Through our Winter course and trip to Washington DC, we will explore the conflicts and nuances of reconciling future development and climate policies. Our plan is to tie together the study of the future of energy and resource use with the dynamics of development from multiple perspectives. In our class, we will study the building blocks for both sustainable energy and for effective growth from the country perspective. We will question prevailing models and meet with environmental policy and global development think tanks, activists, policymakers and representatives of developing countries.


  • Farmworker Health in California: The Fields, (Im)Migration, and Resistance

California boasts one of the U.S.’ biggest agricultural industries, which requires a large, steady labor force—especially during harvest seasons. Much of the produce in our dining halls comes from various farms across California, harvested by historically--and currently--marginalized groups that live in underserved communities across rural California. Despite playing such an integral part in this country’s well-being, farmworkers often face entrenched obstacles to securing their own physical and mental well-being. In this Alternative Spring Break Course, we will analyze the social, economic, and political conditions affecting farmworker health, and identify how the healthcare system can better serve them, especially migrant farmworkers. We will visit the Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys in Central and Northern California for a first-hand perspective on migrant farmworker health and its complexities. We will understand how the US’s immigration policies and the agricultural industry in California have played a role in shaping the social determinants of health for farmworkers statewide. We will study the common health issues, healthcare interventions, and related immigration and health policies affecting farmworker communities. Furthermore, we aim to study avenues for change, ranging from policy to activism, that farmworkers and allies have historically taken to address their health care needs and the injustices facing their communities. During our ASB trip, we will meet with farmworkers themselves, and various organizations working with them. These organizations include healthcare providers, policy makers, community advocates, and farm owners. As we learn, we will challenge our perspectives and knowledge of the agriculture industry, migrant farmworkers, healthcare for underserved communities, and ethical service. Recognizing that the issues and obstacles that farmworkers face are largely systemic and deeply rooted in history is key to gaining a deeper understanding of these injustices. The aim of this course is to broaden our understanding of farmworker health in California, and discover ways through which this knowledge can open additional avenues to change.


  • Kapwa: Exploring Pilipinx History and Identity as a Platform for Social Change

The year 1521 marked the beginning of colonization for the Philippines. To this day, remnants of Spanish and American influences are present in Philippine culture. However, Philippine history does not begin or end with colonization - long before the Spanish arrived, indigenous societies thrived, and pre-colonial values and traditions have been preserved and passed down through generations. Pilipinx and Pilipinx-American culture today is centered around kapwa ⁠— our shared Pilipinx identity. In this course, we will learn about Pilipinx events and issues that have shaped the Pilipinx and Pilipinx-American identity. We will first trace the history of the Philippines, with an emphasis on pre-colonial history, in order to understand the events and circumstances that led to the struggles that Pilipinos and Pilipino-Americans face today. The class will then delve into the concept of sustainable service by exploring ideas of activism, creative expression, community empowerment, and solidarity between marginalized communities. Students will leave this class with the ability to engage in conversations about relevant issues, get involved with movements for change here and abroad. After our course in the Winter quarter, we will go on a service-learning trip through California, visiting grassroots organizations and historical sites that have made significant contributions to the Pilipinx-American community. While our trip focuses on the struggles associated with one particular cultural group, those struggles, and the skills used to develop effective strategies that address them, are relevant to anyone interested in the general ideas of identity, solidarity, power of creative expression, and sustainable service.


  • Queer & Asian American Intersections (QuAAInt)

The Queer and Asian American Intersectionality trip aims to create a safe space to increase student awareness of and involvement in issues regarding Queer and Asian American intersectionality, such as the lack of Asian American representation in mainstream queer culture and acknowledgement of cultural nuances in queer communities of color. Within these spaces, the trip leaders hope to empower participants with the knowledge to advocate for and navigate such issues. Throughout the program, students will collaborate with Queer and Asian American organizations, engage in discussions and service with others, and participate in workshops. These immersive opportunities that include Queer and Asian American politics, activism, health, and art will allow students to garner experiences that expand upon their own pre-trip perspectives. Potential organizations and people that we will meet include: Asian Pacific Islander Equality - Northern California (APIENC), the Visibility Project, Trikone, and Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP). In addition to these service-learning components, the trip will also focus on community building and cohort bonding. Because of the lack of spaces on campus for the Queer and Asian American community to discuss their experiences, the trip leaders acknowledge the importance of fostering a tight-knit environment that encourages sharing and listening. Through active reflection, community building, and challenging dialogue, we will strive to gain a more comprehensive understanding of Queer & Asian American issues and current initiatives whilst potentially fostering long-lasting connections with others. Ultimately, we hope that students will apply this knowledge to Stanford and other spaces to facilitate more intersectional inclusivity and cultural sensitivity.


  • Stanford Travels South: Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide

Do you want to engage with issues facing rural America? Step outside the bubble. Rural areas are home to 97% of the country’s landmass and 19% of Americans but until the 2016 elections many Americans weren’t aware of many of the struggles and successes facing rural communities. Rural America includes the 2018 US News “Best State to Live In” (Iowa), yet 40% of rural Americans are still left without effective broadband Internet access, opening the door to opportunities for development and implementation of technology. Join us as we head to Mississippi. Through our one-unit Winter Quarter class and the trip itself we will engage with issues that are disproportionately affecting rural communities including health care access, internet access as well as better understand the historic, social and economic context of Mississippi and the South. We’ll look at rural-urban divide patterns across the US as well as better understand Starkville, Mississippi and its surrounding local region as a unique example of this. Only about 4% of Stanford undergrads hail from rural areas, yet experiencing a diversity of locations and perspectives is a vital goal of Stanford’s education. We hope to provide Stanford students with a learning experience they otherwise may not encounter. It promises to be an unprecedented chance for future policymakers, computer scientists, business owners, and other leaders to engage in constructive dialogue and brainstorm solutions for tackling challenges to America’s future, thus parrying social media’s filter-bubbles and echo-chambers.


  • XJ in the Bay: Exploring Environmental and Housing Justice in the Bay Area

What is the relationship between housing injustice and environmental justice? How can environmental activism be expanded to include social justice, and how can we use environmental and health issues to unite across cultural and socioeconomic boundaries? What does being a supportive ally look like? These are the questions we will attempt to answer in this class. The winter quarter class will give a history of housing and environmental injustices in the Bay Area, as well as the opportunity to examine in depth some subcategories of our broader themes such as public health, environmental policy, food security, intersectional identities/othering, the urban/rural dichotomy, and transportation. Students will be split into three groups, each of which will be tasked with choosing a community organization (we will provide a list of options) to engage with during spring break. These orgs might include renter’s coalitions, community farms, worker’s unions, EJ activist groups, and more.