Alliance and Understanding


Alliance and Understanding


The Alliance and Understanding Program gathers Penn students to embark on a journey of intercultural understanding...

  • Explore the Civil Rights Movement and the intercultural partnership between Black and Jewish communities.
  • Bridge the gap between the past and the present as you visit four cities in the South –

                       Walk through history and meet some of the key figures in the Civil Rights Movement.

  • Learn about other cultures and strengthen your knowledge of your own culture through daily debriefing sessions and open discussions with your peers
  • Become empowered to use your knowledge and resources to create social change.

Successful applicants are required to participate in a retreat and a series of lectures and bonding activities prior to the trip. This is meant to provide the applicants with the foundation to get the most from the trip and their relationships with each other.

The AU program is open to all interested Penn students. Knowledge of Civil Rights history or Black/ Jewish issues is NOT necessary for participation in this program. All we ask is a genuine interest in the topic, a willingness to learn, and a desire to meet and build new and unique relationships.

Quotes from 2012-13 participants,

For me, the Alliance and Understanding Program has been more than just an opportunity to explore the relationship between African-Americans and Jewish Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. It has been a chance to reflect on the sacrifices made so that multiracial and multicultural coalitions such as AU could exist. It's been a chance to question what I had been previously taught about the Civil Rights Movement and to gain new insight so that I may share what I know to others. It has also provided me with the opportunity to begin to evaluate the contributions that I myself will make to this society. - Janessa Price (Class of 2012)

The inspiring people we met – Mrs. Cherry, Brian Stevenson, Mr. Black from Impact Alabama, Rabbi Yemer, to name a few that stood out to me – intrigued me more in those few hours than some professors I have had for whole semesters. I think it was the combination of the atmosphere (all of us students being genuinely interested in what we were learning), the interactive, dynamic experience of actually visiting the historical sites and talking to experts and "real" people that made this experience so profound. -  Simone Stern (Class 2014)

The bonds I have built with the people on this trip were also unexpected. Through the discussions we all had each night in our debrief meetings and the many talks I had with people afterward, I learned so much from my trip mates. - Ayinde Alleyne (Class 2015)

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