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The 2017 Long Trip: Detroit, Michigan

Bank Street's annual Long Trips have played a vital role in increasing our understanding of the issues that shape and challenge our country.  The events of 2016 have pushed us all to connect with the many issues defining our lived experiences. Lucy Sprague Mitchell believed that we must not loose sight of the socio-political aim of educators in a democratic society. She believed that seeing the world from another’s eyes would bring greater empathy, caring, and a desire to engage in the world more deeply and actively.

As a result of much discussion, we have decided to shift our previously scheduled Long Trip from Rio De Janeiro to Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is a city profoundly impacted by recession, privatization of public services, a compromised infrastructure, and a school system under both great scrutiny and need for reform. Named A UNESCO City of Design in 2015, Detroit is in transition. The city is working to revitalize its cultural, industrial and humanitarian vision. It is the home of strong immigrant communities, thriving artist collectives, green energy initiatives and dedicated sports fans.

We believe that a week of listening and learning in Detroit would honor Mitchell’s vision for The Long Trip at a critical moment in our nation's history.

Take a moment to look at The New York Times 2017 Places to Visit and scroll down to #9.

We hope you will consider joining us on this journey from
April 8th – April 15th, 2017. Please share your interest with us by emailing,

~ Abby Kerlin, Fern Khan and
Carol Hillman


Bank Street’s Long Trip, originated by Lucy Sprague Mitchell, took place each spring from 1935-1952. Faculty and student teachers would travel together to encounter the complexity of a distant environment and confront its social and political issues: the labor movement, poverty, conservation, government intervention programs, race relations—and the consequences for children, their education, and their families.  

Revived in 1996 by Fern Khan, then Dean of Continuing Education, and Carol Hillman, a Bank Street alumna and former Board of Trustees member, the Long Trip is now open to students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Bank Street. 

Each trip offers exciting and heart-warming opportunities for connections with new friends and colleagues. Participants have met with the local people and learned about their culture, education, economy, and religion in places such as Savannah, Georgia, Jamaica, Finland, and Costa Rica. 

Learn more about the Long Trip History.