Global Justice Summer Internship Reflection Guide
Through a UUCSJ internship participants have the opportunity to build connections across and within cultures, through direct experience, enabling participants to grow in their understanding of human rights issues while examining their roles in the struggle for justice. Interns will be active learners, respectful partners, and long-term advocates. Various organizations and initiatives across and outside the U.S. have offered to be hosts, teachers and guides.
This experience is so much more than an internship:
- It is an apprenticeship; a time to learn, grow, and be open to changing various parts of yourself
- It is a chance to raise awareness of how oppression and human rights issues manifest in people’s lives
- It is an opportunity to be exposed to dimensions and aspects of society that may not be part of one’s primary community
- It is a first-hand look at vocations and careers in social justice, while weaving a stronger connection between one’s faith and work for justice.
Major Aspects of the Internship Experience –
An important aspect of this internship experience will be the likelihood of entering or working in a different community or culture. This can include a different work environment as well. It may be challenging to seamlessly immerse and engage with a new community, regardless of the differences, and finding one’s particular way of doing so is not always easy. Anticipating this experience of “boundary-crossing” may bring up deep feelings of excitement, apprehension and anxiety. That is completely normal, and interns are encouraged to accept and sit with this wide range of feelings while being sure not to lose sight of their excitement. Those feelings could be what fuels a continued interest and drive to work for justice.
Maintain a Spiritual Practice
UUCSJ believes deeply that having a regular spiritual practice will help quiet one’s mind, feel more deeply connected to others and incorporate new lessons on multiple levels. Interns are invited to think about and explore spiritual practices, and try to find one (or several!) that might be a good match during the program. Check out Spiritual Practice and Social Justice on the UUCSJ website for more information.
UUCSJ actively supports participants in learning to become more effective allies in countering oppressive systems. To facilitate this process, interns are invited to take the time to reflect on a weekly basis on a series of questions and core themes that impact interns’ lives and the lives of the partners and organizations interns work with. Interns are also encourage to think about their own place in relation to the justice struggles encountered during the internship experience.