Midwest Academy Organizing Internships

Posted by on January 30, 2011

The Midwest Academy, a 37-year-old national training institute for progressive direct action organizing, will train community organizing interns in a ten week Summer 2011 program, running from Tuesday, June 6
– Friday, August 12.

Paid Internships: Students will receive a stipend of $3500 for the ten week period, to be paid biweekly. Freshmen are encouraged to apply for the for-credit internship, or the college-funded program, because we rarely hire freshmen (rising sophomores) in the paid internship program. There will be about 12 paid internship positions.

Unpaid For-Credit Internships: We will work with you if your institution will give you course credit. Acceptance in the paid internship program is very competitive; the unpaid for-credit program is potentially easier to access.

College-funded Internships: If your college has funding for summer activities, you may apply to be a Midwest Academy intern, bringing your own funding. In addition to the internship application form, please let us know what kind of funding you are applying for at your school, how much you might receive, what the decision date is, and when you need a decision about acceptance from us (we will try to accommodate the need for earlier decisions in this program).

Internship Description

Interns will receive a week of training similar to the Midwest Academy five-day training (see training agenda on website). They will learn how organizers choose issues, develop strategy, assess their own organizational power and that of their targets, allies and opponents, recruit constituents, and move into action. (Costs for the training, including room/board, are covered in all versions of the internship.)

Following training, interns will be placed with community organizations and with statewide organizations. Preference will be given to applicants from the Chicago area, or in school in the Chicago area (this may be
waived for the for-credit and college-funded internships). Details about placements will be posted as soon as available; issues vary from year to year, depending upon the work that local organizations are doing each
summer.  Although in the past we have sometimes had interns outside the Chicago area, we are not certain whether that will be the case in 2011; we will post additional information as it becomes available.

During nine weeks in the field, interns will conduct intensive community outreach and organize one or more public meetings. Interns will receive day-to-day supervision from their placement organizations, and ongoing training and mentoring from Midwest Academy staff. For interns who are interested in pursuing a job in community organizing, we will provide job search assistance at the end of the internship or at college
graduation. (For-credit interns will receive additional supervision from one of our staff members who have an MA if needed for credit.)

We are looking for young people with progressive values who are ready to work hard and take on new challenges and responsibilities, who have a passion for social justice, and who want to learn solid skills in the field of organizing. We are particularly looking for people who want to explore a career in progressive organizing. Fluency in Spanish or other languages relevant to recent immigrants will be a plus for some locations. Use of a car will be required in some, but not all, placements.

For more information go to:  http://www.midwestacademy.com/internship

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