ASB Virtual Conference: Challenges of Community Organizing ASB Virtual Conference: Challenges of Community Organizing

A Conference on the Challenges of Community Organizing

Hosted by Stanford Alternative Breaks


Stanford Alternative Breaks is proud to present our very first virtual conference! This year, we're hosting a 1-day conference centered around the Challenges of Community Organizing. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued fight against anti-Black racism and systemic oppression, we have seen how this global health crisis has exacerbated existing inequities in our world.

Community organizing is vital to supporting marginalized groups, especially Black and Indigenous folks, at this time. Through this conference, we hope to explore what community organizing looks like in a physically and socially distanced world. How have organizers adapted in order to meet the needs of their communities? How can we put community care into practice? How has the pandemic affected different communities at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation? We hope to share knowledge and hold space with organizers and advocates from the Stanford community, the Bay Area community, and beyond.

The Stanford Alternative Breaks Program exposes students to complex social and cultural issues through community visits, experiential learning, direct service, group discussion, readings, and reflection activities. The program's vision is to transform students into advocates of social change on issues affecting our local, national, and global communities. Learn more about Stanford Alternative Breaks at

Due to COVID-19 and University mandated travel restrictions, we've pivoted from our usual in-person service-learning trips over spring break to a 1-day virtual conference on March 22nd, 2021, uniting all ASB courses and allowing students and the public to engage with the social issues that were part of this years ASB cohort.

The 5 courses that were taught by our student leaders were on the following topics:

Land Recognition

We, as Stanford Alternative Breaks, would like to acknowledge the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Muwekma Ohlone peoples on which we would be learning and residing if these classes and this conference were happening in-person. 

We believe it is important to acknowledge systems of oppression and settler colonialism that continue to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands. We encourage you all to acknowledge the land you reside on. We also encourage you to self-educate and find resources where you can donate to Indigenous land trusts.


The first alternative break trip occurred during spring break in 1987. This first trip was led by staff members of what was then called the Public Service Center (later renamed the Haas Center for Public Service). The spring break program grew and eventually became a student-run registered organization at Stanford – Alternative Spring Break (ASB). In 1996 a winter quarter course was added to the program to complement the trip and to enhance the student learning experience. The ASB program has thrived on campus growing to offer as many as 18 courses and trips each year.

Based on the success and growing interest in ASB, in 2008 the Impact Abroad program was launched to provide similar opportunities on a global level during the summer quarter. In 2012, as part of ASB’s 25th anniversary celebration, the ThanksGiving Back program was launched to offer opportunities during the Thanksgiving week break.

Currently we have our opening and closing speakers confirmed. We will be updating the schedule as workshops are confirmed -- thank you for your patience! 




Online Event


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Monday, March 22, 2021

Organizing Advocacy
Opening Keynote: Dolores Huerta
Dolores Huerta
Dolores Huerta Dolores Huerta Foundation, President and Founder