Heal and Transform the World — Activist Internships with the Network of Spiritual Progressives (the outreach and education arm of Tikkun Magazine)
Are you worried about climate change and upset about how the destruction of our environment is threatening our collective future? Are you outraged by the amount of power that corporations and the top 1% of wealthy people have over U.S. politics and our lives? Do you want to build a future in which “homeland security” is achieved through ending global poverty rather than through the military invasion of other countries?
If so, come intern with the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP), an interfaith \ organization that is also welcoming to “spiritual-but-not-religious” atheists and agnostics.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives is closely affiliated with Tikkun Magazine. Tikkun is a Hebrew word which means “healing, repair and transformation.” Interns work on outreach supporting spiritual activism intended to effect tikkun olam (healing of the world) at the local and national level.
To get a sense of our organization, read Tikkun magazine’s home page at www.tikkun.org, and the Network of Spiritual Progressives homepage and vision at www.spiritualprogressives.org.
Tens of thousands of people receive Tikkun, our Tikkun Daily Blog (which you can subscribe to for FREE at http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/join-tikkun-daily/ and/or receive our email mailings several times a week. Thousands of people are dues paying members of our Network of Spiritual Progressives. For such a large membership base and outreach capacity, the Network of Spiritual Progressives has a surprisingly small paid staff. This means that there are excellent opportunities for interns to get significant experience in the daily organizing and outreach efforts of our organization – an organization committed to popularizing the notion that social change work would be more effective if each social change organization, while working on its specific focus, simultaneously sought to teach its activists that they were linked with all the other social change movements by their joint commitment to A New Bottom Line for our society. That New Bottom Line calls for us to judge corporations, government policies, and social institutions (including our health care, educational and legal systems) by how much their way of functioning in the world and their impact on their own workers and on the public as a whole tend to foster people’s capacities to be loving and caring, environmentally responsible, generous, transcending the ethos of materialism and selfishness of global capitalism and instead embodying a non-instrumental relationship to the Earth and to each other. So we are a consciousness-raising organization challenging the dominant reality of contemporary politics and economics and putting forward a different worldview!
All internships with the Network of Spiritual Progressives are unpaid and typically last six months to a year. We prefer applicants who can work at least sixteen hours a week, preferably more. We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2014, Winter 2014-2015, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives is looking for interns to handle various projects:
1. Get Money Out Of Politics And Protect The Planet From Corporate Irresponsibility
This involves organizing to support an Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (ESRA) that unequivocally bans all private donations (from corporations or individuals) and requires public funding only of national and state elections, requires corporations with incomes over $50 million/yr to get a new corporate charter every five years which they can only get by proving a satisfactory history of environmental and social responsibility to a jury of ordinary citizens, and requires environmental education at every educational level from kindergarten through college through graduate and professional schools. Interns who work on this project educate and seek endorsements of community opinion shapers, professional organizations, clergy, public officials, seek signatures of endorsement from the public, and seek potential donors or supporters to increase public awareness and institutional mobilization behind the ESRA. Read the ESRA at www.tikkun.org/ESRA
2. Generosity as a Strategy for Global Peace
Educating, organizing, research, and development for a Global Marshall Plan to end global poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, inadequate health care to to repair the global environment. In Spring 2010 and again in 2012, and 2014, Rep. Keith Ellison introduced a House Resolution calling for such a plan, which would involve the United States leading the G-20 countries in dedicating 1–2 percent of their GDP each year for the next twenty to once and for all end global and domestic poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, and inadequate health care, as well as repair the global environment. Interns who work on this project educate and seek endorsements of community opinion shapers, professional organizations, clergy, public officials, seek signatures of endorsement from the public, and seek potential donors or supporters to increase public awareness and institutional mobilization behind the GMP. Or you can work on developing some of the details of how the Global Marshall Plan will work. Download the full plan at www.tikkun.org/GMP
3. Transforming Work and Professions
We need an intern who wants to help bring together people in various professions to talk about how to bring this New Bottom Line into their profession. We are building task forces in the law, medicine/health care, education, psychology, social work, science and technology, and many other areas. Our immediate goal is to have these professionals develop a detailed picture of what their profession could look like if it had A NEW BOTTOM LINE of love, caring, generosity and environmental responsibility and then create a strategy for bringing their vision to fruition.
4. Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine
The NSP is one of the few organizations working on this issue from an interfaith perspective and one that cares deeply about the well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians. This involves reaching out to interfaith communities, activist groups and others to bring our message to organizations working on this issue. We believe that both sides are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and need to be dealt with through a discourse of compassion and empathy. At the same time, we understand that at this moment there is a vast disparity in power, and so insist that Israel must take the first major steps toward showing the Palestinian people, and the global community, that it really wants to live in peace with Palestinians, demonstrating that in part by taking concrete steps to End the Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza. And we are sure that this step cannot be achieved by a discourse that demeans Israelis or makes them feel that the whole world is against them. Doing this, while challenging the predominant views in the US that see this struggle as though it were a football game in which you had to root for one side or the other, and buy that side’s total picture of the past and present, requires political sophistication and a capacity for empathy even for the side with which you strongly disagree. And thinking this more complex way is also a way to develop an approach to social reality that is applicable for changing the psychodynamics of American politics as well. If you are interested in working with us in this project, first read Rabbi Michael Lerner’s book Embracing Israel/Palestine, available on Kindle at Amazon.com or in hard copy from www.tikkun.org/EIP. The internship involves spreading this worldview and educating others.
5. Conference and Trainings
Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cat Zavis are working on a National Conference to bring together spiritual progressives to help build a spiritually progressive social movement. We also do trainings for Transformative Activists to help them articulate a spiritually progressive worldview that puts forth a vision of the world that activists want rather than simply what they are fighting against. We need support in both these efforts. Tasks will include doing research on who should be invited to speak at the conference, conference logistics, organization and the like, as well as planning the structure and outcomes for the conference. For the trainings, tasks will include reaching out to different communities to see who would invite us to do trainings, helping update and creatively plan the trainings (we are always updating our trainings based on feedback), researching funding for the trainings and conference, etc.
6. NSP Web Content Management and Outreach Intern
Are you excited about the vision of the Network of Spiritual Progressives? Come help us generate buzz and support for the Network of Spiritual Progressives on the Internet while managing and building out the NSP website (www.spiritualprogressives.com). We need someone with a clear understanding of our spiritual progressive worldview to help manage and update our website. Duties on this front might include editing and posting new content, migrating data from our old site to the new one, or (if you have the requisite skills) building out the current website to create a space where different chapters of the NSP could connect with each other, have discussion forums, and more.
Increasing visibility and interconnection on the Internet becomes more of a science. Tweeting and re-tweeting, getting posts to go viral, determining the optimal timing of Facebook status posts, and engaging in search engine optimization are all becoming more methodical as people discover what draws web traffic within the ever-growing ocean of online content. We are looking for someone who is interested in these new online visibility strategies and would like to put them into practice.
- post new relevant material to NSP website
- update Twitter and NSP Facebook page
- post relevant Tikkun/NSP information on Facebook pages of tangentially related groups (e.g. posting a Tikkun article about Environmentalism and Spirituality on the Facebook pages of Mother Jones or 350.org)
- leave comments below new articles on Huffington Post and similar sites with links back to NSP content and brief comments about what is good about or lacking from the article.
Ideal applicants have a working knowledge of (or a strong desire to research) the following:
- SEO strategies
- website content management, html coding
- social networking sites
- the best new ways to be seen online!
7. Youth Organizing
Are you excited about organizing youth to be involved in spiritually engaged, progressive political organizing and outreach? Do you enjoy going to different social change events and community youth groups? Would you like to help build a youth contingency for the Network of Spiritual Progressives? If so, this position is for you! You will be encouraged to think creatively and be innovative to help reach out to youth who are both engaged in social change work and interested in becoming involved to help them see the value of bringing the vision of a New Bottom Line into social change work.
8. Grant Writing, Web Design, Videography, and Developing Other Educational Tools
Are you creative and like to express social change messages through creative outlets? Do you want to gain skills in grant research and writing? Are you interested in helping us create and develop educational materials and tools to support our work? If so, we want you to work with us? Working on one or all of these issues will give you the chance to engage and direct your creative energies towards social change work. These are all talents we are seeking to help in building public awareness of Tikkun magazine and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. You don’t need to have these skills to apply for any of the other foci of an internship.
Email a self-revealing cover letter along with your resume to Cat Zavis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure it is not just some formalistic review of your resume. Tell us about your passions, your academic or professional goals, what part of the Network of Spiritual Progressives’ vision you share and what part seems problematic to you. What are your special talents? What could you contribute to one or more of the areas in which interns specialize? Please indicate in your letter which internship is your first choice and why and what are your second and third choices and tell us why you are qualified for the position. What is your time availability? Why do you want to work with us? When would you be available to start and for how long? We need a minimum commitment of sixteen hours per week (we’d love more, but many of our interns find that to sustain themselves financially they need to seek part-time work elsewhere). We should also acknowledge that half of our tiny paid staff positions have gone to people who started out volunteering or interning for Tikkun for free. And many of our interns have successfully used their experience here as a door-opener when applying for full time paid jobs or for graduate and professional schools.
Return to the full list of jobs and internships to keep learning about other opportunities at Tikkun.