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Summer Civil Rights Internship


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In 1989, CCI created the Civil Rights Internship program to engage high school, college, and graduate students in summer-long anti-racist work. Since then, scores of young scholars and activists have participated in the Internship Program.

Responsibilities for Civil Rights Interns

  • Education: Organization-wide discussions facilitated by CCI staff and guest presenters immerse interns in topics such as affirmative action, racism in education and in health care, the death penalty, and immigrant rights. Print materials and videos from Community Change’s comprehensive Library on Racism are used extensively.
  • Networking/Community Connections: Interns become involved in learning-through-action by visiting and lending assistance to allied organizations and community activists. They build an understanding of the necessity for cooperation among social justice organizations and develop organizing and facilitation skills as they observe and practice collaboration.
  • Programming: Interns participate in planning meetings and help implement CCI’s goals. Interns develop skills in and practice the collaborative integration of theory and action.
  • Reflection: Through writing, discussion, and participation in assessment and evaluation of CCI programming, participants reflect on their activities, as well as on the impact and the implications of their work.
  • Operations: Interns gain essential knowledge and skill in the “nuts-and-bolts” of running a small nonprofit organization by preparing mailings, answering telephones, and responding to inquiries and requests.

 

Impact

The impact of the Civil Rights Internship Program reaches far beyond the individual interns and the CCI constituency. We view the Civil Rights Internship Program as a pebble dropped into a pond that creates ever-widening circles of influence. On completion of the Civil Rights Internship Program, participants return to their campuses, their work, and their communities, spreading what they learned during their experience at CCI into the broader community.

 

Greater Boston Community ("the Pebble Drops"): Working with CCI staff and volunteers, interns collaborate with multiracial groups organizing around issues and concerns critical to our communities. In summer 2004, for example, interns sat with CCI staff on the planning committee of the Boston Social Forum and collaborated with CCI staff on the design and facilitation of workshops on racism and healthcare, racism and progressive organizing, white privilege, and gentrification.

 

Beyond Boston (“the Ripples on the Pond”): Feedback from interns indicates that the impact of this action-oriented education has an ever-widening reach. Many interns change the focus of their career in order to center on lifelong antiracist work. Just one among the many stories of immediate impact tells the experience of 2004 intern Julia Koch who, since returning to Mount Holyoke College, has been actively involved in organizing students and faculty around issues of racism and white privilege. Using the theoretical and practical knowledge and the organizing skills she learned as a Civil Rights Intern at CCI, Julia is the primary organizer for the third Conference on White Privilege, which will bring hundreds of participants from all over the United States to the campus in the spring of 2006.

Application

Our 2014 application is now available. Our application deadline is April 5, 2014. Decisions will be made by April 30.

 Click Here to Apply: 2014 Summer Intern Application

 

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Community Change was born out of the Civil Rights Movement and in response to the Kerner Commission which named racism as "a white problem." CCI has done what few organizations are willing to do: shine a spotlight on the roots of racism in white culture with the intention of dealing with racism at its source, as well as with its impact on communities of color.

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