International African American Museum takes a novel approach to spring break

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(Charleston, SC) – In early March, the International African American Museum (IAAM) welcomed students from the College of Charleston, Benedict College, and the College of the Holy Cross as participants in its first annual Alternate Spring Break (ASB) program.

IAAM’s ASB program gives students an alternative to the typical spring break affording them the opportunity to engage in social, racial, and environmental justice advocacy through direct service, group discussion, experiential learning, and individual reflection. Students participating in the program travel to Charleston, South Carolina, to take part in on-site museum projects and to engage in off-site projects with community organizations. The goal is to enhance knowledge and understanding of the untold stories of the African American journey at one of our country’s most sacred sites.

IAAM’s Education Department received a donation from Tom and Nancy Maher of Pisgah Investments Foundation to initiate and implement this program. Their generous funding helped cover all participant costs related to transportation, lodging, food, and other expenses.

Felice Knight, PhD, director of education at IAAM commented, “I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome of the program. It was an extraordinary opportunity to expose a diverse group of students to the rich history and culture of African Americans in the Lowcountry. As a former college professor, I know how infrequently college students get a chance to engage in experiential learning. I’m so glad to have been able to provide an enriching experience to students in this way.”

This year’s program was held March 3 – March 10. Participants were selected following an application process in early January. Those seeking more information on the program can email the IAAM Education Department at

“The IAAM team has structured a comprehensive and engaging Alternative Spring Break Program, which will be so compelling to colleges and universities throughout the United States. We feel fortunate to help create and sustain this program and are so grateful for the talented IAAM team and their careful curation of an amazing week for these students. This will be an impactful and transformative experience for all students fortunate to participate in this program,” noted Tom Maher.

The MinorityEye is a news and information aggregator that curates the voices, thoughts and perspectives of minority writers, bloggers, authors, reporters, columnists, pundits, consultants and thought leaders as well as those who write about minorities and issues that impact people and communities of color.

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