Hattiesburg, Mississippi - Race and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States

This program focuses on the historical and contemporary impact of the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi and the United States. You will explore social justice issues related to race, human rights, racism, and the institutional and systemic factors that continue to link race and poverty today. Your team will volunteer at one of three community placements. In the past these have included Habitat for Humanity (construction), Edwards St. Fellowship Centre (food bank, clinic, and community garden); and Hawkins Elementary School (teacher’s assistant). Through reflection, participants will be asked to connect their learning to similar social justice issues in a Canadian context, and contemporary social movements in Canada and the United States such as Black Lives Matter. 

UN Sustainable Development Goal 1 - No PovertyUn Sustainable Development Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities Un Sustainable Development Goal 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Community Partners


Dates of Travel

February 15, 2020 – February 23, 2020

(Note: This group travels in partnership with the University of Guelph by bus)

Participant Numbers

Western University


Guelph University


Student participants



Student Team Leaders



Team Leaders



  • One day excursion to the French Quarter in New Orleans
  • Explore Black History Month lectures at the University of Southern Mississippi
  • Informational and informative bus ride down where you will get to interact and engage with University of Guelph students
  • Dinner at a local restaurants

Learning Outcomes

At the end of your Impact Experience you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to explore ideas, issues, and global systems from viewpoints other than your own, through reflective practice, group discussions and program activities
  • Work under conditions of ambiguity or uncertainty by engaging with community partners, community members and working as a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intercultural competence, sensitivity and humility by completing pre-departure workshops, activities in OWL and the Reflective Practice Workbook, and engaging in the 1-2 week community-based experience
  • Develop an understanding as to why discrimination against groups exists
  • Compare and contrast the civil rights issues of the 1960s to those of modern society
  • Describe the systemic barriers that affect the city of Hattiesburg and its residents

Ideal Participant

This experience does involve construction work and physical activity. If you are hard-working, team-oriented, and have a positive attitude, this is a great opportunity for you. Participants that enjoy hands-on service, road trips, and connecting with new people, are likely to find this experience a good fit.


Total cost (subject to change) – $800

Costs include:

  • Bus transportation to and from New Orleans
  • Insurance (health, trip cancellation)
  • Registration and Program Fees with community partners
  • Transportation in Hattiesburg
  • Accommodation 
  • Meals (participants will be notified of the meals that will be provided, and ones that they will need to purchase; expect that 2-3 dinners will be purchased outside of the cost of the experience)
  • Administrative Fee (buff, team leader contribution, journal)

Note: Impact Experience participants will be responsible for any souvenirs or additional food/snacks during the trip. 

Preliminary Itinerary

  • 7:00-7:30 am – wake up and community style breakfast at R3SM
  • 7:30-7:45 am – pack lunch for the day
  • 7:45-8:00 am – travel to work sites via bus
  • 8:00-8:30 am - arrive at the work site, ready to work and take instruction from our community partners
  • 8:30 am-4:00 pm – work at volunteer placement
  • 4:00-4:30 pm – travel to accommodations
  • 4:30-7:00 pm – dinner and shower time
  • 7:00-8:30 pm – team Reflection
  • 8:30-10:00 pm – recreation time
  • One or two evenings will be filled by attending Black History Month Lectures at the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Friday you will have a day trip to the French Quarter in New Orleans.

*PLEASE NOTE – Itinerary is draft, and subject to change at any time


You will stay at the R3SM volunteer house in in a dorm-like setting. Sheets/sleeping bag, towels and pillow must be brought from home. On the way to and from Hattiesburg we will stay in hotels in Kentucky and you will be asked to sleep 4 to a hotel room, if this is a challenge for you, please connect with the program coordinator prior to departure and accommodations can be made.


Your meals will be made as a group and will be provided during the program, and you will be responsible for some meals and snacks (to be identified).

Need to Know

  • This experience is based outside Canada and involves travel in the U.S.A.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have the required travel documents and travel visas necessary to participate in the experience.
  • If you require disability related accommodation, or have other special considerations, we encourage you to contact us before applying. We may require further information to determine how we can best meet your accommodation needs.