Washington, DC


Washington, DC is a city of dramatic contrasts. Staggeringly powerful decision makers work within sight of communities struggling with deep and entrenched poverty. It is a city to be discovered and enjoyed: rich in culture and entertainment. It is a city that bears the markers of long histories of racial segregation and economic inequality. DC is a city where economic development is remaking the urban fabric in ways that benefit those who can afford to live and play in newly hip spaces but marginalize and displace those who cannot. 

During these three weeks, we will have fun exploring the city together and trying to understand how all of this fits together. We will encounter and describe the contrasts that shape the city. We will consider why neighborhoods differ—why some communities thrive and others struggle—and what their contrasting experiences can teach us about the spatial, racial, and economic forces shaping inequality. We will visit people and organizations working to improve the conditions in communities marginalized from the centers of power. And we will taste, see, and discover the history and cultural richness that DC has to offer.

Students will live at the Washington Community Scholars’ Center in the Brookland neighborhood (Urban Experience (emu.edu)) and will cook meals together there. Projects and activities will include visiting and volunteering with local nonprofit organizations, theater performances, neighborhood exploration, museums, local restaurants, and cultural events.

Leader: Cynthia Bandish
Dates: May 6 - 24, 2024
Program fee: $2,250
Deposit: $300 due Jan. 10
Students: 10-15

COVID-19 VACCINE - REQUIRED to participate in this experience.

Elaine Suderman,  Asst. Director of Cross-cultural Programs