LOVE in NYC: A New Type of Journey

LOVE Immersion: Immigration and the Lower East Side is scheduled to take place February 18-19 and teaches students about New York City history.


By: Taylor Carroll 

Manhattan College’s LOVE Social Justice Immersion program provides students the opportunity to learn about social justice issues in the communities that are most impacted by them. This February, students will have the chance to learn about the history of immigration in New York City, as well as current issues facing immigrants through a weekend trip called LOVE Immersion: Immigration and the Lower East Side.

In the past, LOVE trip participants have visited countries including Ecuador and cities such as El Paso and New Orleans. For many years, these trips have helped students gain an understanding of cultural immersion, community, spirituality, simple living and social justice. 

LOVE experiences were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2022, Jacquie Martin, coordinator of social action, and her team looked for new ways to restart the program. 

“Our most popular trip in the past was about immigration where students went to El Paso, Texas,” Martin says. “Being that this topic was the most popular, we thought it would be a good idea to choose a weekend about immigration. It is simple and easily accessible.”

Although shorter than past LOVE experiences, this trip’s mission is as strong as previous ones. 

“In years past, trips included 10-12 weeks of meeting together before the experience … so it was an entire semester event students were involved in,” Martin explains. “This time, students can sign up and participate for the two days. For some of our New York students, this trip can be an immersion into their backyard. For those who aren't from the area, it would be a great way to get to know New York City and some of its history.”

Event Schedule

  • Friday, February 18: During this on-campus event, participants will get to know each other better through icebreakers and activities revolving around identity. This will be followed by dinner from local immigrant-owned restaurants. An Afghan refugee is scheduled to visit campus and share his story with students and leaders. 
  • Saturday, February 19: Attendees will visit the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum to learn how immigrants helped shape New York and its culture. 

Martin hopes that the weekend trip will enable students to reflect on their own identities, as well as those of their peers. She is also considering making weekend trips a more common event. 

“We’re thinking of continuing weekend trips like these each semester in order to bring more options to students,” she said. “It’s a great way for students to get involved and learn how to volunteer in certain communities. It’s also a nice way for students to get to know each other, especially for freshmen or transfer students. I’m looking forward to having students all together, in one room, having conversations.” 

By MC Staff