Alternative Breaks

Kent State University's Alternative Breaks expose students to social justice and cultural issues through direct service, community engagement, reflection, and a variety of cultural activities.

These programs engage students in service, inform them about current social issues, and encourage their on-going involvement in social change.

Some of these experiences may be used to fulfill the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR). Learn more about experiential learning and how it can bring your learning to life!


Alternative Winter Break

"May 1970, Student-Led Collective Action, and the Civil Rights Movement"
Jackson, Mississippi
December 19-22, 2022

Downtown Jackson Mississippi panorama

Participants will spend four days and three nights in Jackson, Mississippi learning about the city's extensive role in the Civil Rights Movement and the root causes of the Jackson State shooting in May 1970. Participants will learn about examples of student-led collective action and the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. While in Jackson, Mississippi, participants will not only visit locations critical to the Civil Rights Movement, such as the COFO (Council of Federated Organizations) and the Freedom Trail, but will also examine the background of the Gibbs-Green tragedy, how it differs from the events of May 4th, and how it connects to the struggle for civil rights.

Click here to register for the Alternative Winter Break trip.




Two students participating in alternative spring break

Alternative Spring Break

Week of March 25-April 2, 2023 (each trip has slightly different dates)

Kent State University's Alternative Spring Break trips expose students to social justice and cultural issues through direct service, community visits, reflection, and a variety of cultural activities.

Our Spring 2023 lineup of experiences is as follows:

  • Strengthening Ohio Urban Communities (Youngstown, Ohio)
  • The Environment, Fossil Fuels, and Appalachian Communities (Kermit, West Virginia)
  • Preserving Oral Histories of the Civil Rights Movement (Selma, Alabama)
  • Justice, Equity, and Healing in Urban Community Development (Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Creating Social Change through Art (Utuado, Puerto Rico)

Click here to register for Alternative Spring Break.

Are you a Kent State faculty member or staff member, or a Kent State student who has participated in previous Alternative Break experiences, and interested in leading one of these experiences? Apply now to serve as a trip leader here!


University policy 3342-3-01.3 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to services. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact Community Engaged Learning in a timely manner to make arrangements for the necessary service trip adjustments.

Community Engaged Learning welcomes the opportunity to help academic departments across campus plan and develop experiential learning trips for students and faculty. Please contact us at for more information.