King's students head south to the Dominican Republic for reading week
February 11, 2016
By Nicole Bullock, Communications & Media Relations
Students from Social Justice and Peace Studies (SJPS), with representatives from Childhood and Social Institutions (CSI) and Social Work are off on a trip of a lifetime.
SJPS 3376, Dominican Republic Experiential Learning - Critical Perspectives on Citizenship and Transnational Capital, is an experiential learning course, which focuses on transnational citizenship and activism.
Fourteen students, along with King’s Assistant Professor, Dr. Allyson Larkin, and Teaching Assistant, and SJPS graduate Klaire Gain are travelling to the Dominican Republic from February 12-20th for eight intensive days of site visits and participation in community events focusing on transnational activism, citizenship and tourism. The trip is designed to deepen the students’ understanding of the impact of international resource extraction on local communities, recent changes to citizenship legislation on Dominicans of Haitian descent, and the intensifying impact of tourism on local economies.
This particular experiential learning course is an opportunity to synthesize key concepts students have explored in previous SJPS courses and to learn from individuals and organizations in the Dominican Republic who are working on these issues every day. The focus in this course is on learning from others so that we can better work for justice upon their return to Canada.
While in the Dominican Republic, students will visit five communities who are engaged in resistance to international mining projects, groups who are working to support the un-housed, and exploring the informal economy related to the burgeoning international tourism industry in the Dominican Republic.
Prior to departure, students engaged in approximately 30 hours of course preparation. Each student identifies an area of research interest, which they are then able to investigate while in-country. Presentations of their findings will be presented at a public forum in late March.
King’s has worked in solidarity with Dominican Republic communities for more than fifteen years. Originally begun in Campus Ministry, the Social Justice and Peace Studies Program took on leadership for this program in 2008. Since then, more than 200 SJPS students have participated in the Dominican program.
Nicole Bullock, a 4th year Sociology and Psychology student and Communications work study student will accompany the group to document and report on the group’s actions. She will be sharing updates via: Facebook – King’s Dominican Republic Social Justice, Instagram – @KingsDominicanRepublic, and Twitter - @KingsDominican.