Winter Break Providence

What is Winter Break Providence (WBP)?

Imagine spending a week of intensive learning and living with a group of fellow students, exploring critical social issues in Providence.

Unlike most university break projects that engage in direct service, WBP focuses on investigation and collaborative learning. Thirty-five Brown students live together in a church in downtown Providence to explore and engage with local issues such as affordable housing, homelessness, urban education, equitable health care, refugee services, environmental justice and homelessness.

During the week, students meet with policy makers, service providers, politicians, activists and community members to better understand both the context for these issues and the skills and commitment required to create meaningful social change.

“Action after education is the only path to meaningful, sustainable change, and Winter Break Projects is a first step in that direction.”

– 2015 WBP participant

What will I do?

As a participant in WBP, you will join a small investigative team. During the day, each team focuses on a particular issue, led by student(s) with extensive experience and passion for the issue. In the evening, all 35 participants come together for dinner and group learning.

The 2017 Winter Break Providence participants will focus on investigations in the following areas:

  • Education 
  • Economic Justice
  • Environmental Justice
  • Homelessness 
  • Public Health
  • Incarceration

Learn more: 

How can I participate?

Dates for the 2017 WBP will be posted here as soon as they become available.  Students make their own way back to Brown and at the conclusion of WBP can move into their dorm rooms for the spring semester. 

In October we hold a series of information sessions about Winter Break Projects including introductions to investigative team leaders. We welcome a diverse pool of participants, including community service and public policy veterans and students with little or no experience in community work. 

Students must apply to participate, and since we always have more applicants than we can accommodate, students are encouraged to put careful thought into their application. In the application, we ask students to rank investigative projects in order of interest, and we work hard to place each student with their first or second choice.

Cost for the week is $85 and some financial aid is available. If accepted, students will be asked to pay a non-refundable $50 deposit by December 1st

Contact Betsy Shimberg for more information or questions regarding financial aid.