Rural and Migrant MinistryMultiple Locations, New York
Rural & Migrant Ministry works for the creation of a just rural New York State through: Nurturing leadership; Standing with the disenfranchised, especially farmworkers and rural workers; Changing unjust systems and structures. RMM implements its mission through three program areas: 1) Youth Empowerment: year-round high school leadership programs, and summer camps 2) Education: popular education methods to bring rural workers and allies together to build knowledge and make system level change 3) Accompaniment: standing with rural workers on legislative campaigns, especially passage of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act.
Below are a few internships we know will take place. We may add more, and are willing to discuss new ideas with potential interns:
Youth Arts Group: YAG is a program for high school age students in the Hudson Valley to explore community change through the arts. Their summer interns help them realize the art projects they planned during the year, go on a group end of year educational trip, and send representatives to various programs and conferences that promote youth activism. yag.ruralmigrantministry.org Adelante: Student Voices: YAG graduate founded a summer youth program for undocumented students. Intern will help with remaining plans and logistics in June, act as a counselor in late June and early July (two sessions of 10 days each), and help with follow up, balancing budget and expenses, thank yous, and making recommendations for following year in remaining weeks. Adelante intern may also help with YAG or summer camp after the Adelante summer session ends.
Summer Leadership Day Program: We offer a free two-week summer day program for children ages 8-13 of farmworkers in the area. Each summer has a theme (previous themes: words, unity, celebration, justice…) and uses a mixture of the arts, storytelling, trips, and traditional summer activities like games and swimming. Interns help plan for the camp and create the curriculum, and go out to meet parents on the farms and collect necessary paperwork for final recruitment. They also act as counselors for the two weeks, typically the last week of July and first week of August, and wrap up files and materials afterwards. Justice Organization of Youth: One year ago graduates of camp founded a new year-round youth group. Like all of our youth programs, they focus on leadership development and social justice issues. They are forming the base for the future, so interns are important facilitators at this time of growth and vision-making. The youth group typically meets once a week during the summer. JOY intern will also help with other Lyons programming, like the weekly ESL class.
Justice for Farmworkers Campaign: Stand with farmworkers to pass the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act in Albany. Organize constituents for Senator visits. Thank supporters. Conduct public relations campaigns including social and traditional media. Research opposition, agricultural industry, and winning campaigns.
- Specific Skills Needed: Drivers License and willingness to do lots of rural driving in our vehicles – Flexible schedule (we are not a typical 9-5, Monday-Friday). We are committed to 40 hours/week and offer compensation days off when go over for specific programs, but those 40 hours may be allocated differently week to week. Spanish, Jamaican Patois, or Haitian Creole is preferred for Lyons positions and Adelante.
- Number of Intern Placements: 2
- Internship Time Frame: June 5- August 18 with one week of vacation
POUGHKEEPSIE: Interns share housing in an unused rectory near Poughkeepsie that a local church donates each summer. The house is typically not in use when interns are not present, so interns are responsible to split the cost of internet. No programming takes place in the house so it is private except for when church staff need to access storage or to show the house to potential buyer (they call first). There are three furnished bedrooms. Orientation with all interns takes place here from June 5-7.
LYONS: Interns share housing at Liturgia, our rural worker education center. The downstairs has living space, office, and meeting rooms for JOY and camp. The upstairs is private, and has 4 bedrooms, and a shared living room space.
NEW YORK CITY: We do not offer housing in NYC, but we have had interns who live with family in one of the boroughs. The campaign office is in Brooklyn. In Long Island, we have had success reaching out to allies for low cost or free host family arrangements. There is a campaign office in Garden City, and a worker center in Riverhead. The worker center may eventually offer housing, though its unclear for this summer.
RMM has a van at both Lyons and Poughkeepsie sites that is used for programming and personal use. Typically, three interns share each vehicle. Interns have found it useful in the past when at least one of the interns had a car so that if a van was tied up in programming the others could still accomplish other tasks. RMM offers mileage reimbursement to interns who use a personal car for work related tasks, though this usually is not necessary. Poughkeepsie has a (limited) bus system and a train to NYC or upstate. Lyons does not have public transportation.
Interns who do the full summer (June 5-August 18 at 40 hours per week) receive $2,500 total. RMM makes up the remainder of the stipend that UUCSJ does not pay.
Interns are eligible for a stipend of no more than $1,500 from UUCSJ to assist with food, local public transit, and incidentals, depending on a variety of factors. Applicants are encouraged to seek other sources of funding, including grants from colleges and foundations, congregational support, and Faithify fundraisers.
From Katia, Intern Coordinator at RMM: I am very willing to chat before you even apply if you want to know more about our programs or discuss hopes or concerns: email@example.com or 845-309-8420. UUCSJ interns join a cohort of other interns who come from different college campuses and programs. We typically have 8 summer interns total who complete orientation together and are encouraged to stay in touch even after going to different sites.