Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

CDSI takes Cultural Connections trip to D.C. to explore African American history

Kiara Deburgo, Jaylen Gomez, Cherina Wright, Kayci Resende-Abbott and Selvin Backert pose in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington D.C. Courtesy of Selvin Backert

Suffolk University’s Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion kicked off the spring semester early with the center’s Cultural Connections trip to Washington D.C. to explore African American historical sights, museums, monuments, participate in Suffolk alumni panels and more.

After arriving in Washington D.C. Jan. 8, the students wasted no time checking out the National Museum of African American History and Culture, along with the Martin Luther King Jr. monument. 

“Acknowledging, learning, appreciating and celebrating Black history and culture matters because it is a part of American history. It also informs how we understand current issues related to race and social justice,” said advisor Beatriz Patiño, director of the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion.

On the following day, the group visited the Washington Center, Library of Congress, and Embassy of Oman, all before having dinner and finishing off the night with a Suffolk D.C. Alumni Reception. 

Before heading home Wednesday afternoon, students stopped by the African American Civil War Memorial. 

The trip’s intense itinerary allowed the attendees to learn a lot outside of the classroom, and gain an unforgettable experience. 

“At the end of each evening, we met with the students to debrief and spend time reflecting on everything we’d experienced and learned that day,” said Felicia Wiltz, an advisor on the trip and associate professor and chairperson of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department. “The richness of the discussions reinforced how important it is to offer this opportunity to our students.”

Freshman Kaitlyn Creighton said the trip was a great chance to explore historical sights and process their history.

“I would recommend this trip to other Suffolk students… I think this trip allowed me to educate myself and make personal connections that I would not change for the world,” said Creighton.

These small trips and seminar-style classes offered at Suffolk bring students of all ages and majors together to have a unique learning experience. Creighton is a first year biology student and had one of the advisors, Patiño, for a required class called Strategies of Success.

Patiño advertised the Cultural Connections trip during class time and Creighton knew that by the description and her background, the three day getaway was perfect for her.

“It seemed like fate that an opportunity to learn more about my history and an experience for travel and professional development would fall into my hands during my first semester of college,” Creighton said. “I applied as soon as the application was live, and the rest was history.” 

The Cultural Connections trip to D.C. will be returning in the coming years, and more travel seminars will be running this semester, including a trip to Dublin, Ireland, where students will immerse themselves in Irish literature and history. To learn more, appointments are available at the Center for International Education and Study Away.

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