Solidarity Immersion: Human Rights in the Global Garment Industry, Villa Altagracia, Dominican Republic
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Join student organizers from all over and leaders in the movement for social justice across the Dominican Republic and Haiti for an up-close look at how our global economy and fight for change is woven together!
“We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly …before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured. This is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What we do:
- Listen and learn directly from the personal stories of organizers at the forefront of the fight for social justice on the ground in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
- Share skills with rad student organizers from around the country who have won campaigns! If they can do it, you can do it! Lots of hands-on workshops, role plays, games, discussions, and campaign planning that will jump-start your organizing into the new semester.
- Have a whole lot of pure, simple, fun, with an amazing community of organizers in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Enjoy the fantastic music and dance scene, the natural beauty, hike, hang out with local families.
- Meet the inspiring leaders of Alta Gracia, the first ever living-wage union-made factory producing college logo apparel. This article in The Nation and this fun video made by United Students Against Sweatshops share the history, or check out this short documentary film from past trip participants. Come see for yourself how more than a decade of student worker solidarity continues to transform the Free Trade Zone and community of Villa Altagracia.
- Gain a first-hand understanding of the bigger picture of human rights in the global economy through direct testimony from organizers in the factories and fields, from garment-industry to Call Centers to agriculture in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
- Meet students from all over, feed your creativity, fine-tune your organizing skills and have time to develop your game plans in an inspiring new setting. Build alliances with a network of amazing students from campuses across the country who are fighting for change, just like you!
- Immerse yourself in the local culture with home-stays and hang-out time with families in Villa Altagracia.
- Beaches! Rainforest Rivers! Hikes in the hills of Villa Altagracia! Learn to appreciate Dominican music and dance – Bachata, Merengue, Dembow – with union leaders! Bilingual Karaoke! Cheesy games! Learn to cook delicious Dominican food! Art! Action!
- Stay connected! Plug in to networks that will drive this movement forward when you get home. Whether sharing ideas and advice to help each other out on calls post-trip or meeting up at regional conferences, we stay involved in the labor justice movement post-trip!
COST: $875 FOR ALL IN-COUNTRY NECESSITIES. Includes food, housing, transport, interpretation, supplies. Does not include airfare (but travel scholarships are available) or travel outside of established program dates, souvenirs, airport entry fee ($10), mandatory basic travel insurance through ISIC card($22), vaccinations ($50 – $100) and personal entertainment.
NO MONEY? NO PROBLEM! FREE FUNDRAISING WORKSHOPS! We pre-game the trips with lots of skill-shares via Google hangouts (sign up for one here!) of how you can raise the money to get you there, even if this would normally be beyond your means. The vast majority of students who have attended Solidarity Immersions have raised their program fees without paying a dime of their personal-money,whether through academic department money (sometimes triple-whammying: funding, credit, and trip), donations from unions and local businesses, letter writing to family and friends, benefit parties, work-trades and other fundraising tactics that we’ll share with each other. We’ll help you get there!
NEED-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE. Working class perspectives are a huge asset to our trip! We can work together to make this happen. If you’re committed to the cause, where there’s a will there’s a way. Here’s a link to the need-based scholarship application you can fill out after applying for the trip. We’ll work together from there.
ALL APPLICANTS MUST PAY A $250 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT UPON ACCEPTANCE. You’re deposit is applied to your overall program fee, we just need some funding up front to pay folks on the ground prepping and to make sure you’re in for the real deal. Once we accept you, you have 2 weeks to pay your deposit. It’s more about commitment to the cause than money – we can work with you to have an accessible payment plan in small, reasonable installments.
APPLY FOR THE SOLIDARITY IMMERSION! Here’s a link to the application. Please send a completed copy to email@example.com with your name and school in the headline of the email and saved as the title of the saved document of your application. If you’re serious, just learned about this yesterday, and really want to go, talk to us. We know students do our best work last minute, and we’re not too hard on deadlines if you’re genuinely committed.