2020-2021 Alternative Break Experiences

Think Global, Act Local 

2021 Alternative Break Experiences will be held the week of

May 11-14th 



As we adjust to new rules, protocols and considerations in this COVID-19 era, we have reworked and reconsidered our Alternative Break Experiences held through SAIL. As the future of this pandemic is uncertain and ever changing, we are moving all of our Alternative Breaks to virtual/local experiences and encouraging folks to think global and act local.

We have spent the Fall semester planning for these trips and adjusting to the needs of our community partners around these following topics. While we understand this may be disappointing to some, we hope this can help us create meaningful, purposeful and community driven experiences in our own backyard. This shift allows us to recalibrate and ensure that what we are doing will be impactful and educational as we address critical social concerns in partnership with our neighbors and surrounding communities.

We are still working through our options and details but our hope will be to host very affordable/low-cost experiences in the DMV area around the following topics: 


The Changing Landscape: An Exploration on Gentrification and Immigration Policy 

It’s Not Them but Us - Turning the Tide on HIV/AIDS: Washington, DC

The Color of Justice: Racial Equity and Community Action in the DMV 

Art for Social Change: Indigenous Culture in Guatemala


Note as we shift to local opportunities, we plan to continue to find ways to support our Alternative Break partners who have been impacted by this pandemic.

Please feel free to contact Patty Mathison, SAIL Director at pmathiso@gmu.edu with any questions or concerns. Participant applications will be due in February 10, 2021. We hope you will consider joining us for what we hope will be powerful and impactful experiences. 


Alternative Break Spotlight: Erin

Alternative Break Spotlight: Erin

Meet Erin! In her own words about her experience as a participant on the Atlanta Food Justice and Community Activism experience: “I chose the Food Justice and Community Activism alternative break experience because food justice is important to me. It affects every community in one way or another, but often slips under the radar because it isn’t always a visible problem. Through this experience, I learned about the different ways communities address food security inequities head-on while simultaneously overcoming historic roots of the issue. I also discovered ways to apply similar interventions to other communities. Getting involved with social action in any community might seem daunting at first, but the truth is it’s actually pretty simple.

Read More