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Community Engagement & Service

Atlanta - Living Life on "Pause:" The Intersection of Race and Sexuality in Urban America

Atlanta Alt Break 2016-2017

The Program:

During this new age of activism, social justice is becoming more and more prevalent in daily conversation. From marriage equality, to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, many people are beginning to fight for equality, and demanding justice for different oppressed social groups across different lines, including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and more. But what happens when your oppression is not exclusive to one social group? What happens when intersectionality causes you to have a unique experience in the world? What happens when mainstream movements don’t address this unique experience, and often make you feel as though you must choose or prioritize one identity over the other(s)?  

“Living Life on ‘Pause:” The Intersection of Race and Sexuality in Urban America” will examine the plight of individuals who got lost at this crossroad. Too many times, issues of racial inequality and the rights of LGBT members are viewed as mutually exclusive. LGBT communities of color experience oppression and discrimination both for their race and their sexuality, and the latter is often inflicted by others of the same racial group. This has led to high rates of domestic violence, homelessness/housing discrimination, job discrimination/unemployment, unequal access to health care, and an overwhelming feeling of isolation. Through this lens, one can rethink social justice by unlearning the binary thinking that does not allow communities like LGBT communities of color to exist, and tackle internalized oppression instead of just oppression from outside groups. Ultimately, this reassessment will allow us to recognize all oppressed people in mainstream movements.

Engagement Itinerary:

March 12th:
-Group meets at AU
-Flight to Atlanta
-Move in to hostel
-Introductions/Ice breakers

March 13th:
-Evolution Project (Drop-in Center)
-Cultural Activity
-Real Youth ATL

March 14th:
-Pride School Atlanta (School Community for LGBT youth)
-Lost-N-Found Youth (Homeless shelter)
-Just Us ATL (Youth-led Trans Community)

March 15th:
-Georgia Equality
-Real Youth ATL

March 16th:
-Evolution Project
-Pride School Atlanta

March 17th:
-Lost-N-Found Youth
-Just Us ATL

March 18th:
-Evolution Project
-Cultural Activity
-Closing Dinner

March 19th:
-Wrap up/Conclusion
-Return to DC  

Quick Facts

Destination: Atlanta, GA

Cost: $810

Dates: March 12-19

Adviser: TBD

Cost includes: Airfare, lodging, meals, ground transportation, admission fees, travel insurance, administrative costs, guides.


Meet Your Student Leaders!

Nicholas Pierce is a senior from Philadelphia studying audio production and Arabic language. He has a deep passion for community building among students of color at AU through event planning, and currently serves as Co-President of the African Students' Organization. He is also the special events coordinator for Split This Rock, housing organization for the DC Youth Slam Team. Aside from activism, his passions are music, traveling, and foreign language. 

"I am excited to lead this Alt Break because I was deeply inspired by the New Orleans program I participated in and its ability to bring a deeper level of insight and awareness to a community issue, and I aspire to do the same through this program, shedding light on a community that I identify with."

Natalia Bokoum was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She is double majoring in Literature with a film concentration and WGSS. She has small two-year-old beagle child named Des (short for Desmond Tutu), and if she's not pulling a toy from him she's either playing the Sims, watching a documentary, or reading. As a Lesbian, she is most excited to co lead this trip to experience the Black Gay haven of Atlanta through multiples lenses.