09/10 Organize for Civil Rights with the ACLU/SC

Racial profiling. Economic justice. Equality in education. Gay marriage. C.I.A. torture.

These are the issues that will define our time. They will determine how we, as a generation, are perceived by those who succeed us. We will be viewed either as a generation that fought to defend fundamental rights, or as one that sat on the sidelines while those rights were taken away.

The government of the United States is built on two basic principles: majority rule through democratic elections; and the protection of individuals from any attempts by the majority to curtail individual liberties and rights that are spelled out in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our democracy is dependent on these two principles being upheld and enforced for everyone.

What exists in theory and what happens in reality are of course two very different things. From voter discrimination on the basis of race and gender, to internment camps and segregated schools, we have seen examples in our history of groups and individuals who were denied their Constitutional rights. Through the battles to establish and defend these rights, our nation has grown stronger and flourished.

However, we continue to face challenges to individual rights that threaten the health of our democracy. From farm workers’ rights and gay marriage to under-served schools and overcrowded prisons, there are many issues that need attention and energy in order to ensure freedom, justice and equality for all.

We want you to help us make that happen.

About the Ambassador program

The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU/SC) is excited to launch a new program that will provide opportunities for college students to work on these important issues while also learning about community organizing and campaign building.

This is an ideal opportunity for students interested in

*public policy
*community organizing
*cause marketing
*social justice

The program is tailored for students looking for an unconventional, ‘hands on’ internship style program. In turn, the ACLU of Southern California is excited to be engaging with the future leaders of our movement and creating a space for student activists to have a voice and important role in our work.

The ACLU/SC Campus Ambassador Program is a semester or year-long volunteer position in which students will lead campaigns on their campus and in surrounding communities to inform and inspire people to get involved with and join the ACLU/SC. Students will work closely with veteran organizers, learning how to create and run an entire campaign that will engage their peers in support of the important work the ACLU does. This is a unique opportunity to work with the ACLU/SC in a direct, hands-on way while also having the freedom to develop a custom program tailored to a specific campus community.

Our Campus Ambassadors will:

*gain unique leadership experience
*learn about community mobilizing
*train and recruit volunteers
*do hands on marketing and outreach
*help with communications
*learn how to fundraise

Students will be expected to commit to five to eight hours a week in this unpaid volunteer position, and will be given extensive support and resources to ensure their success, including ongoing training on every aspect of running a community campaign, and opportunities to meet with ACLU/SC leadership.

Internship duties and requirements

Internship duties include:

*talking with people about the ACLU/SC at events
*holding your own weekly outreach events & tabling to recruit new ACLU/SC members
*building a team of on campus and community volunteers
*attending rallies, marches, etc. to show ACLU/SC support
*monitoring local media for content related to ACLU issues
*engaging in policy-related marketing and messaging
*some basic research
*light administrative duties related to tracking progress.

This is a very non-traditional, hands on internship; you’ll be engaged with doing work that is critical to the organization right now. As a Campus Ambassador, you will literally be creating, with our support, your own ‘mini’ campaign to build support for the ACLU/SC in your community. You’ll experience very little to no office time, instead, you'll be out on your campus and in your community, 'in the field' so to speak, doing important organizing and membership building work.

We are looking for ambassadors that are self driven and motivated to act on their passion and commitment to civil rights and liberties. You need to have the ability to work with a diverse team of people, have attention to detail and good judgement and communication skills. Familiarity with word processing, excel and social networking is also helpful. We are recruiting students who can make a commitment for either the entire 09/10 school year, or one semester, at campuses in the greater Los Angeles and Southern California region. Students at both two and four year schools are encouraged to apply. Recent grads interested in doing a community based internship are also encouraged to apply.

How to apply

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis, until our four intern positions are filled.

To apply, please email us the following documents:

*A resume highlighting work and volunteer experience
*A cover letter introducing yourself
*Additionally, please answer the following questions and send your responses in a Word document:

1. Basic info

Email address
Website (if applicable, blog, etc.)
Year in school
Clubs/organizations you are involved with

2. Your campus
Describe your school – how many students attend, what clubs and events are popular, what is the community around your campus like? Do students on your campus already know about the ACLU? What do they know about it? How do you think they will respond to outreach by the ACLU? Why should the ACLU be on your campus?

3. How will you defend freedom next year
Provide a brief plan or overview of the ways you’d work to: raise awareness about the ACLU on your campus, get your fellow students to donate and join the ACLU, increase awareness of civil rights issues, reach out to faculty members and the community around your campus.

4. Why do you want to be an ACLU student ambassador? What experiences (life, travel, work, volunteer, etc.) have made you interested in this opportunity?

5. What do you want to learn and gain from being an ACLU ambassador?

About the ACLU

The ACLU exists to defend and secure these rights and to extend them to people who have been excluded from their protection. The ACLU believes that if the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everyone’s rights are imperiled. They are an organization with a nearly 100-year-old history of ensuring that the principles our government was founded on are upheld equally for everyone, working day in and day out to chart a future for our society that is inclusive of everyone.

To learn more, visit