Winter Break Providence

Applications for WBP 2017 are live! Apply by Wed, Nov 16 at 11:59pm. Click here for the application

Info sessions:

Tuesday 11/1, 5pm at The Swearer Center

Monday 11/7, 8pm (location TBD)

Thursday 11/10, 9pm (location TBD)

Monday 11/14, 6pm (location TBD)

What is Winter Break Providence (WBP)? [formerly known as Winter Break Projects]

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. Forty Brown students live together in a church in downtown Providence to explore and engage with local issues such as homelessness, urban education, equitable health care, economic justice, incarceration, and environmental justice.

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 fellow student(s) with extensive experience and passion for the issue. In the evening, all 40 participants come together for dinner, group learning, and evening guest speakers.

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 2017 WBP are January 14-22 and takes place in Providence.  Students make their own way back to Brown, are provided housing and food for the week in a downtown Providence church, and at the conclusion of WBP can move into their dorm rooms for the spring semester.

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

Students must apply to participate. 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. Applications are due 11/16 by 11:59pm.

Cost for the week is $100, and some financial aid is available. Payment contributes to housing and food for the 7 days and nights of the week. Applications are need-blind and no student will be denied participation because of financial need. If accepted, students will be asked to pay a non-refundable $50 deposit by December 2nd unless otherwise specified.

Contact Betsy Shimberg for more information or questions regarding financial aid. General questions can be sent to