The Cross Cultural Center is accepting applications through Friday to attend the Reaffirming Ethnic Awareness and Community Harmony (REACH) retreat this winter, scheduled to take place Jan. 9 to 11 at the Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa in Kelseyville, Calif.
This year‘s retreat marks the 10th anniversary of the program, and brings together students, faculty and staff to commemorate “The Power of T.E.N: a legacy of Transforming, Educating, and Nourishing.“ The REACH retreat was initially created in 1998 with the help of an ASUCD grant, and has since been supported and run by the director and staff of the Cross Cultural Community Center.
“It‘s an opportunity to break down barriers and unlearn social stereotypes,“ said Christopher Ambriz, a senior political science and communications double major, and co-coordinator of the event. “The biggest draw would be to take advantage of another part of college life outside of academics, sports and clubs, and to really challenge yourself to learn about others in a safe and supportive environment.“
The retreat consists of a three-day workshop in which individuals from all walks of life are encouraged to confront issues of racial, class and gender stereotyping to help build a more unified campus community. The program accepts up to 100 participants, and focuses on developing new friendships and fostering an awareness of key issues through meaningful group discussion, fun and interactive activities.
This year‘s theme elaborates on “seven dimensions,“ which focuses on the subjects of “ability, age, class, gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and spirituality,“ according to the CCC‘s website.
“It‘s a great experience to learn about the social issues around the world and on campus, and a great way to make friends you‘ll have for a long time,“ said Amanda Gonzalez, a sophomore chemistry major who attended last year‘s retreat. “It was a very mind-opening experience; I went as a freshman, so it was the first kind of program that that I had encountered that confronted those kinds of issues.“
The REACH program is renowned among its former participants for bringing people together, and for creating unique friendships on the basis of mutual trust and understanding. Johnathen Duran, a senior community and regional development major, experienced this firsthand.
“People put a lot of trust and confidence in you,“ he said. “I‘m [still] good friends with everyone in my group.“
“The best part is just bonding with the people on the retreat,“ Ambriz said. “Having fun, relating, relaxing. It really is a retreat at heart.“
To encourage participation in the program, the CCC tries to keep the cost as low as possible – $35 for students and $80 for faculty and staff. The fee covers two and a half days of food, round trip transportation and lodging in the Konocti Harbor Resort.
Students, faculty and staff interested in the event can stop by the CCC for more information, or apply online by 4 p.m. Friday at ccc.ucdavis.edu.
MICHELLE IMMEL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.