The Center for Labor Research and Studies has been training the next generation of community leaders through the center’s Social and Economic Justice Internship Program.
Students can chose from two different internship tracks: research or service learning. Each track offers interns the opportunity to explore career options while obtaining hands-on experience. Interns develop applied social science research skills, applied conflict resolutions skills, or applied adult education skills and work with community organizations to build professional networks that enhance not only employability but also qualifications for admission into graduate and professional schools. Students can enroll to gain Academic Credit for the internships and directed studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
While interning at RISEP, I was able to develop research and writing skills that help me with many aspects of my life today. I was surrounded by a great team and it was always clear to me that our work had the potential to make a positive impact on people, particularly on low-income communities in Florida. I am currently employed with Florida New Majority, a leading grassroots social welfare organization based in Miami. My primary responsibilities are research and grant writing. The skills, and more importantly, the social justice principles I learned at RISEP have proved invaluable in my new career.Carlos Sanchez, RISEP Intern
Research Internships at RISEP are designed for the student to gain practical field research experience on applied social science projects dealing with issues such as: economic opportunity, immigrant, minority and women worker issues, , and equitable urban development. During the semester long internship students will contribute to one of RISEP’s current projects under supervision and guidance from a RISEP research associate. Students will have the opportunity to develop and practice research skills such as primary data gathering through surveys, interviews and focus groups, real data processing, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and writing and presenting research findings.
The fundamental objectives of the research internship for the student are:
#1: To gain actual practical data collection experience.
#2: To gain real data processing experience.
#3: Contribute to reports and other publications.
#4: Learn to be part of a coordinated, team-oriented research project.
RISEP expects interns to be full participants in projects, to take direction and supervision from our experienced field research associates, and to make meaningful contributions to our agenda of applied research and our mission to serve the interests of Florida’s working men and women, their families and communities.
The Service Learning Internship
The service learning internship track matches students with local community organizations. Each student will gain hands on experience while working with community leaders on different campaigns or projects that have a local or statewide focus on bringing social and economic justice to working families in Florida.
The list below indicates several community organizations where students may be placed:
- The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)
- Catalyst Miami
- Miami-Dade’s Small Business Development Agency (SBD)
- South Florida’s American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
- Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust
- Miami-Dade Department of Human Services
- Alternatives to Violence Project (in local State Prisons)
- Various Court systems
- Americans for Immigrant Justice
- South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
- The International Rescue Committee
- Service Employees International Union
- Miami Workers Center
- Florida New Majority
After taking the Intro to Labor Studies course I became very passionate about social injustices occurring in my community. I wanted to be engaged in what has happening in my community and at the same time get credit for it, so I enrolled in the service learning internship. During my Fall semester I worked with the Miami-Dade’s Small Business Development Agency where I helped employees and employers to conciliate unpaid wages. In the Spring semester, I worked with Americans for Immigrant Justice where I worked with undocumented detainees helping them to learn about their rights. These Social Justice Internships have helped me to acquire workplace skills, meet other advocates, and most importantly, provided me with an outlet where I could pursue my passion for social justice within my own community. These experiences have been invaluable! In fact, having these internships under my belt strengthened my law school application!Linda, FIU undergraduate
All internships are offered in Spring, Fall and Summer semesters. The internships consist of 10 hours per week for 3 credits. For more information on the internship programs or the Labor Center’s certificate programs please visit our websites at http://casgroup.fiu.edu/labor/ and www.-risep-fiu.org. You can also email Cynthia Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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