Throughout the month of March, we have had groups of students come from Wesleyan University, Salisbury University, Swarthmore College, and Oberlin College to participate in our Alternative Spring Break Program. Throughout the program students were involved in organizing for the US Social Forum, advocating for the Voter’s Choice Act, working on our urban farm, participating in a march for voter’s rights, going on a reality tour, participating in educationals about opting out, homelessness, the drug war, and working on creating a policy to promote human rights for housing in Philadelphia.
On March 11th, 2015, the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and our first group of Alternative Spring Break Students took to the State Capitol in Harrisburg to ask our elected representatives about their positions on the proposed Voter’s Choice Act. The VCA helps make elections fair again by removing the ridiculous barriers on minor parties and independent candidates, who may be required to gather as many as 32 times the signatures as Democrats and Republicans have to get for access to the primaries. We went to the office of Senator Folmer, who has proposed the Act, as well as Senators Williams, Hughes, Tartaglione, and Haywood.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to join PPERHC for their Alternative Spring Break. In both the social justice and environmental movements today, I am constantly troubled by the disconnect between those affected by inequality and injustice and those who attempt to respond to it. PPERHC is a powerful example where this gap is closed. Poor people around the country are effected on a daily basis, directly or indirectly by the lack of responsibility that the government and large corporations take for the communities whose space they exploit. Not everyone feels able to stand up to these injustices. Many are able to put class war, drug war, resource war on the back burner-as if there are other more important issues, as if these issues will only effect us in the future.
Every Spring, PPEHRC hosts an Alternative Spring Break to engage students in economic justice and human rights issues. As an alternative spring break participant, students have the opportunity to learn about and participate in foreclosure defense, urban farming, food distributions, anti-homelessness activism, community organizing, and preparation for the third US Social Forum, to be hosted in Philadelphia.
Are you a student interested in economic justice and human rights? Would you like to spend your summer break doing something meaningful and learning from seasoned organizers? Well PPEHRC is the experience you’ve been waiting for! Just send an email to Meaghan Russell today and she will send you an application and all the information that you need. Meaghan’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org