There are field trips, and then there’s what Eric Jordan is trying to accomplish. The Frederick Douglass Academy VII English teacher is leaning on the kindness of strangers to help him fund the school’s first international trip in four years. Jordan wants to take 12 students to Spain this July in what he thinks will be a life changing experience.
In a short video made by Jordan and his students, the Brownsville Brooklyn teacher says after he graduated from college he spent a little less than a year teaching English in Spain and is familiar with the customs and country.
“For a number of reasons, that’s something that our students aren’t shown. I think that’s true whether you’re talking about students in the inner city, black students, students of color, students who come from poor neighborhoods and I think in Brownsville, you kind of have, it’s like a triple whammy,” he told HuffPost. “[I]t’s not something that’s true for every student I teach but for many of them… it’s almost like this trip is something that they’re not supposed to do, it’s almost like it’s prohibited to them and I just think that’s wrong. So here we are.”
In Brownsville, a majority of the students are black or Latino and unfortunately are at risk with families who live below the poverty line. Disabled students make up more than a quarter of the population at 27. 6%. In December, Jordan launched a Go Fund Me account and through alumni, local businesses and Black Travel Movement, Jordan has been able to raise $27, 840 at the time of this news post.
“The idea that I had is that there’s no place in the world where I don’t belong, I had to go there to get that experience… I wanna offer that. And it will be a pretty unforgettable kind of thing. I don’t think anyone will be quite the same after this trip,” Jordan said.