Alliance for Understanding

Are you looking for an opportunity to delve deeply into pieces of history in a meaningful way that allows you to connect the dots between intergenerational social movement work? Join us in the Social Justice Series exploring Black and Jewish dialogue. This program is open to all interested Penn students. You don’t have to be a history major. 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.

Key Highlights:

  • Visit to museums in Philadelphia, New York, and D.C.
  • Speaker Series on racial solidarity and allyship
  • Intercultural community dialogues
  • Civil Rights Spring Break Trip to the South (application coming out November 2022)

Interested in getting involved? Sign up online.

This program is a partnership between the Greenfield Intercultural Center, African American Resource Center, and Penn Hillel.

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The AU trip was amazing. It is one thing to read about these historic places, but actually being there and talking to history makers is extremely impactful. As we spent moer time in the South, it was clear that the narrative of a few paramount leaders inciting change is misleading; thousands of everyday people contributed to the movement. And many of these ordinary people were unaware of their extraordinary resolve and actions. Their stories were so inspring and made me want to somehow enact change in the world.

Brianna Westbrooks​

Alliance for Understanding was a trip that challenged me in ways I never imagined when I decided to sign up. Originally, I was mostly interested in understanding the way in which history was remembered, and viewed the trip as a hands-on way to explore this about a particular part of history I was not that well versed in. What I discovered was that not only was the Civil Rights era far more complicated than I had imagined, but more importantly that so many of my notions about race and class in America were at best naive, and at worst, dangerously ignorant. AU’s ability to blend so many different ways of learning together in such a short time is what I felt was the biggest strength of the program. Not only were we able to visit many museums and learn about a host of topics, but the discussions with people from Ms. Joanne to the archivisit to the Graetzs made the history and the memories real in a personal, yet academic way. Moreover, actually being at the sites themselves allowed me to feel certain emotions that are difficult to come by when reading a book or watching a movie. Finally, the group of peers that went on the trip broadened my understanding of what I was seeing/experiencing exponentially.

Ezra Kurtz​