Break Away News
Mar 26


2014 Alternative Break Citizenship Schools Announced!

March 26, 2014
Registration is now open for the annual gathering of active citizens and alternative breakers.

The annual gathering of active citizens has begun! Join the Break Away staff and campus leaders from colleges and universities across the nation for a week that will enrich your alternative break program, expand your leadership potential, and determine the direction of the national movement. Alternative Break Citizenship Schools (ABCs) combine the intensity of an authentic alternative break experience with innovative training and networking opportunities to share ideas and best practices for programs while promoting active citizenship.

For over 20 years Break Away has provided schools with quality training to further the alternative break movement. The ABCs are the only experiential training conferences dedicated entirely to creating quality alternative break programs. Whether you are interested in starting alternative breaks on your campus or are coming from a well-established program, this conference will accelerate the quality and the quantity of your work.

Here at the HQ, we are particularly excited to announce four compelling social issues and locations for the 2014 ABCs:

The 2014 Alternative Break Citizenship Schools

June 8 – 13 | Organize Locally: Using Place and Space to Cultivate Community | Atlanta, Georgia

Hosted at Emory University

Public gathering places are vital to building healthy communities, but modern US neighborhoods may be among the first to be designed without town squares, commons, or central meeting spaces. In an increasingly technology-driven world, we are becoming further distanced from the physical communities we live in, ultimately lessening our ability to engage in collective action and advocacy. Atlanta is a city of neighborhoods, and residents have begun to organize their city blocks to create a shared vision through urban gardens, public art, and community education. This ABCs will focus on a hyper-local approach to community organizing and the role that public art and community gardens play in creating healthy, safe, and active neighborhoods.

June 22 – 27 | Building Resilience through Post-Disaster Recovery | Peoria, Illinois*

Hosted by Bradley University and Illinois State University

In November 2013, a tornado ripped its way through Washington, IL and other surrounding communities - damaging or destroying over 1,200 homes. Bethany Community Church, our service partner for this ABCs, has joined with residents and area civic organizations to clear debris and provide housing to displaced families. Using the recovery effort in Central Illinois as a model, our focus will be on the role of volunteers in ethical and effective post-disaster work, and how to build on the inherent strengths of impacted groups in order to enhance community resiliency.

*The Central Illinois ABCs will also feature a three-day staff development track, from June 25-27, focused on topics including: working with community partners to assess and track impact, training student leaders, and deepening reorientation/local community work. A full schedule will be released on the Break Away website in April. Staff who work with break programs have the opportunity to attend the full ABCs and switch into the staff track on the last two days, or to come just to the final two days, depending on program needs.

July 5 – 11 | Public Stewardship of Natural Lands and Cultural Legacies | Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Hosted by the National Park Service

As it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2016, the National Park Service has issued a Call to Action, committing to a second century of natural and cultural stewardship. With over 4.5 million visitors to Grand Canyon National Park in 2013, the NPS and its volunteers endeavor to balance the competing demands of recreation and preservation, in order to ensure this natural wonder remains for future generations. Participants will explore current conservation practices through service with the Fire Management Program, which works to reduce forest fuels within the park by monitoring and thinning wildland adjacent to NPS buildings and by using prescribed fire to create and maintain diverse habitats.

July 27 - August 1 | Collaborative Approaches to Securing Food for All | Baltimore, Maryland

Hosted by Community College of Baltimore County; hosted at University of Maryland Baltimore County

Twenty percent of Baltimore residents experienced food insecurity in 2012. City residents, government officials, and non-profits are addressing the issue from varied perspectives to move Baltimore toward full food security. This commitment includes mapping levels of food security throughout the city, urban farming, and the development of the Baltimore Food Hub. This ABCs will present the impacts of food insecurity on residents’ health and well-being and highlight cooperation to address food-insecure areas. Participants in Baltimore will do direct service with grassroots organizations including urban farms and food distribution groups.

Quotes from past ABCs Participants:

“Truly a transformative experience. It will change your life and leave you filled with hope and knowledge, and the resources and confidence to start or better your alternative break program.”

“It was a life-changing week. I learned so much about an important issue and I finally feel I am involved in a movement.”

“This week will change you and how you view the world around you. Embrace it.”

“You will come away with a skill set that will help you in areas extending far beyond alternative breaks.”

“This experience will alter your passion for Alternative Breaks in the most amazing way. Go with an open mind and everything else will fall into place.”

“The ABCs open your eyes to more than just your leadership abilities. It opens your eyes to the inequality that is present in our world. We leave as members of a movement.”

Come learn what these ABCs graduates are talking about! We encourage you to send representatives from your alternative break program to take advantage of the premier training for alternative break leaders. In an attempt to cut down on paper, Break Away has moved its ABCs registration process online!* Both Participant registrations and Site Leader applications are available today:

Participant Registration Form

Site Leader Application

*If you would prefer to submit your application/registration utilizing a paper registration form instead, those are available (electronically) upon request.

The ABCs fill up every year and in response to this, for the second year in a row, we have expanded our efforts to host a fourth conference; we encourage you to register early to secure your space. Being true alternative breakers, we have worked hard to keep registration prices as low as possible, and will continue to offer an early-bird registration for the ABCs. That deadline is Friday, April 18th and allows you to take advantage of the ABCs at a significantly reduced cost. The final date to register for the ABCs will be Friday, May 16th.

Payment may be made online here or by check; all payment information can be sent to or mailed to Break Away, 2451 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 3124, Atlanta, GA 30339. Once your participant registration form and payment are complete, you will be fully registered for the ABCs and will receive confirmation from Break Away. If you would like to register for the ABCs, but do not yet know the name of the attendee, please complete the registration form and submit payment; you'll have the opportunity to adjust the name at a later date.

Please see the attachment for more detailed information about the ABCs. Registration, transportation information, sample schedules, and other details will soon be available on our website. If you have any questions in the meantime, please call 404.919.7482 or email the national office at


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