2020 Trip Summaries

Brief summaries for each trip offered in 2020 are below, as provided by the trip organizers.  All 2020 trips will be offered during Spring Break, between Friday, March 20th and Sunday, April 5th (or some portion thereof).  Tentative dates are listed below, but are subject to change pending travel arrangements.  Please feel free to contact trip organizers directly with any questions or for additional details.

Berkshire Community Outreach & Service

  • Destination: Berkshire County
  • Trip Organizers: Oliver Yang ’20 ([email protected]) & Center for Learning in Action ([email protected])
  • Tentative Dates: March 21-27, 2020
  • Estimated Out-of-Pocket Contribution Per Student: $25
  • Description: Engage in local outreach programs, establishing lasting and potentially ongoing relationships with members all across the Berkshires. Volunteer with a variety of local organizations and schools to support the wide variety of needs in the Berkshire community. Participants will have the opportunity to do significant amounts of volunteer work at local organizations, and in doing so, spend time with local residents, make new friends, and learn the essential role that giving back plays in working towards growing communities.
  • Q&A Session: TBD
  • 2018 Trip Summary, Photo Gallery & Testimonials
  • 2017 Trip Summary, Photo Gallery & Testimonials

Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention and VIM Shadowing

  • Destination: Berkshire County
  • Trip Organizers:
  • Lauren Heuer ’20 ([email protected]) &  Yang Lee ’20 ([email protected])
  • Tentative Dates: March 21-28, 2020
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Contribution Per Student: $200
  • Description: This new Berkshires public health service trip provides an opportunity to become involved in tackling the opioid crisis right here in Berkshire County. Receive training in Narcan administration and then help run these training sessions in local community centers. This portion of the week is focused on harm reduction education, and we will also work to distribute relevant supplies and address the community’s needs. The second half of the week will be spent working with Volunteers in Medicine (VIM), a free health clinic in Great Barrington, MA. Participants will gain clinical exposure by assisting doctors in their various subdivisions and helping prepare to run a special project with this organization.
  • Q&A Session: Tuesday, October 29th, 9-10pm, Paresky 112

Chaplains’ Interfaith Detroit

  • Destination: Detroit, MI
  • Trip Organizers: Yousef Alamassi ’22 ([email protected]), Morgan Whaley ’20 ([email protected]) & The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer ([email protected])
  • Tentative Dates: March 28 – April 4, 2020
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Contribution Per Student: $200
  • Description: This trip will look at issues related to the environment, poverty and racism in the context of the diversity of religious and spiritual perspectives and the variety of worldviews and shared humanitarian service. Students will work closely with Habitat for Humanity to help rehabilitated homes in the area. The students will also visit the Charles H. Wright and the Arab American National museums, and speak to religious leaders about their experiences with social justice in their communities. During this visit and throughout the entire trip, students will be invited to reflect on questions of ethnicity and race, privilege, and social justice. The group will visit four different houses of worship whose communities incorporate social justice into the ministries of their respective communities. This trip allows students to learn from those who are doing the social justice and humanitarian work in an area with a rich but complex history. The hope is to give students an opportunity to see how faith communities worked together to address the recent history of the economic depression in the area and the history of racism and the Civil Rights Movement in Michigan, and that students will be inspired to learn more about these issues and how surface explanations are not the ones that lead to solutions.
  • Q&A Session: Tuesday, October 29th, 8-10pm, Paresky 220

Chaplains’ Interfaith El Paso: Border Immigration & Social Justice

  • Destination: El Paso, TX
  • Trip Organizers: Diana Gonzalez-Castillo ’22 ([email protected]), Maria Roman ’22 ([email protected]) & Tracy Finnegan ([email protected])
  • Tentative Dates: March 21-28, 2020
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Contribution Per Student: $200
  • Description: The leaders of El Paso’s HOPE Border Institute will facilitate and lead Williams students through a transformative experience in which they are immersed in the daily challenges of El Paso’s marginalized border community. Students will fulfill their civic duty by observing and learning about the arduous and often unjust process of the immigrant court system. They will serve the migrants living in local shelters after they have been released from detention. Showing up and standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are living on the border is doing the work of social justice!
  • Q&A Session: Thursday, October 31st, 8-9pm, Paresky 220

An Ephed Up Food System

  • Destination: Berkshire County
  • Trip Organizers: Marco Vallejos ’20 ([email protected]) & Caroline Bruno ’15 ([email protected])
  • Tentative Dates: March 23-29, 2020
  • Estimated Out-of-Pocket Contribution Per Student: $25
  • Description: By staying in the Berkshires for spring break, you have an opportunity to connect with our region more deeply, without the pressures of the semester.  Join this trip to engage in discussions and learn about our place in the local food ecosystem. Build community through hands-on farming experiences and spend time contributing to local food security programs, establishing lasting and potentially ongoing relationships in the nearby community. Reflect on how Williams is involved in and can contribute to a resilient, sustainable region outside the bounds of campus.
  • Q&A Session: Thursday, October 31st, 7-8pm, Paresky 112

Teaching English in China

  • Destination: Changsha, China
  • Trip Organizers: Catherine Kao ’21 ([email protected]) & Jake Rinaldi ’20 ([email protected])
  • Tentative Dates: March 21 – April 5, 2020
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Contribution Per Student: $400
  • Description: During this trip to one of the most vibrant and historic cities in China, we aim to meet the surging demand for native English-speaking teachers called waijiao to make English more relevant and interesting to Chinese students. During class time, participants can expect to collaboratively teach English to high school students using lessons that we write ourselves; outside of class, we will engage the students in a mutual exchange of culture and language by chatting with them, having lunch together, and even potentially going sightseeing with them. Our goal is to work with the local teachers to find the most effective teaching techniques for English as a second language and leave the students with clear and enjoyable ways to improve their English, all while immersing in Chinese culture and making new friends! Proficiency in Mandarin is preferred, but not required for eligibility.
  • Q&A Session: Tuesday, October 29th, 8-9pm, Paresky 112
  • 2018 Trip Summary, Photo Gallery & Testimonials
  • 2017 Trip Summary & Testimonials

Voter Engagement in Florida

  • Destination: Miami, FL
  • Trip Organizers: Anna Leedy ’22 ([email protected]) & Nicky Wu ’22 ([email protected])
  • Tentative Dates: March 22-30, 2020
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Contribution Per Student: $200
  • Description: This is a nonpartisan voter mobilization trip in Florida, targeting densely populated areas to encourage voter turnout in local and federal elections. We are planning to canvass in communities with historically low voter turn-out, to encourage residents to register to vote in local and presidential elections. In particular, we hope to increase the political voice of low-income communities and communities of color. We may also help produce promotional materials, such as videos or flyers, for host organizations, as needed. This trip will happen soon after the Florida primaries on March 17, 2020, so we are hoping to capitalize on the energy of the recent primaries to connect and engage with more residents. This work is especially important due to the upcoming 2020 presidential elections. Students will gain valuable insight into the work involved in grassroots organizing and community mobilization, as well as experience in canvassing and directly engaging with local residents. We hope this trip will reinforce the importance of voter engagement for students. Proficiency in Spanish is appreciated, but not required for eligibility.
  • Q&A Session: Thursday, October 31st, 8-9pm, Paresky 112