Alternative break trips punctuate life on Jesuit college campuses, acting as experiences of conversion and putting faith into action. The Universal Apostolic Preferences of “walking with the excluded” and “accompanying the youth” come together in the practice of alternative break programs. However, these trips often operate through the position of whiteness. In this paper, we examine alternative service trips through the lens of whiteness. Too often, predominately white groups insert themselves into non-white contexts and assert themselves as owners of the space. Practices of white university students instrumentalizing experiences of service as agents in their own conversion displace the agency of others, resulting in a lack of solidarity and a shallow experience of walking with the excluded. While walking with the excluded is an important preference to enact, it must not be done in the posture of “inverted hospitality.” Accompanying the youth entails challenging structures of whiteness and privilege. We propose best practices for accompanying the youth through resisting cultures of whiteness and instead moving towards solidarity.
Haarman, Susan and Selak, Annie
"An Examination of Alternative Break Trips and Whiteness in Jesuit Higher Education,"
Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal: Vol. 10:
2, Article 14.
Available at: https://epublications.regis.edu/jhe/vol10/iss2/14
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