The UUCSJ Volunteer Program is designed to be a powerful opportunity for individuals who are willing to lend their time, compassion, and skills to leave a meaningful impact with one of our partner organizations; however, this volunteer program also provides a framework to help volunteers deepen their understanding of systems of injustice and reflecting on one’s personal connection to justice work.

How UUCSJ understands volunteering:

  • We strive to place the needs of our partners first
  • We strive to move at the speed of trust
  • We strive to constantly reflect on and dismantle the saviorism often inherent in cross-cultural volunteer work

Click the button below to read UUCSJ’s grounding framework: The Volunteer Journey: Lighting the Way to Right Relationship [PDF]

Interested in volunteering? Check out the opportunities below

Please note: UUCSJ is currently NOT organizing any in-person or virtual volunteer cohorts. To volunteer, you must reach out to the organizations directly.

Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado (AOL) is a bi-national, U.S. and Mexico, organization offering direct legal services to underserved deportees, migrants, and refugees. They are currently looking for volunteers for the following positions: 

  • ACCOMPANIMENT VOLUNTEER: AOL is seeking local Spanish and Haitian Kreyol speaking volunteers who are able to accompany families to the port of entry when they are approved for Humanitarian Parole. This is happening on a continuous basis, 4-8 times a month, irregularly scheduled. These accompaniments happen with only 1-2 days notice and are typically at 8am or 3pm. The volunteer would be asked to meet clients on the Tijuana side of the border, give them a brief run-down of what crossing will involve, and walk with them to the gate. The accompaniment could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the officials who are working. Al Otro Lado is seeking local volunteers with ongoing availability. There are online trainings available in the coming weeks. Please email volunteer@alotrolado.org if you are interested in learning more!

Skills Needed/ Requirements: Fluency in Spanish or Haitian Kreyol; Must have transportation to/ from Tijuana, Mexico; Flexible schedule; Ability to respond to requests within 3 to 5 hours; Must attend two trainings – General Orientation (Mondays, 2:30-3:30PM PST) and Accompaniment Training (1 Hour)

  • LONG-TERM VOLUNTEER: If you are interested in combating white supremacy and the structural racism of our immigration system by working in solidarity with refugees stuck at the US-México border, you’ve come to the right place. If you would like to learn what it means to approach this work from an abolitionist #burnitalldown perspective, Al Otro Lado has opportunities for you! AOL is looking for passionate, self-motivated, and organized volunteers who are interested in forming a long-term remote partnership with Al Otro Lado. Volunteers will be asked to make a commitment of at least 4 months, approximately 5-10 hours per week – all remote. With the constant shifts in government policy and on-the-ground conditions, we are looking for volunteers who have flexible schedules and are comfortable working on multiple projects. Email volunteer@alotrolado.org if you are interested in learning more!

Skills Needed/ Requirements: Four-month, 5-10 hours per week minimum time commitment; Fluency in Spanish preferred, but not required; Must attend all trainings provided by Al Otro Lado

  • CRCL TEAM VOLUNTEER: The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) is a department within DHS that receives complaints regarding human rights abuses. Al Otro Lado is currently filing Humanitarian Parole (HP) requests for clients in extremely vulnerable situations; however, the majority of these requests are being ignored or denied. In order to build a fuller picture of the issue and create a detailed record of this, they plan to file CRCL complaints for each HP request that is denied. As a volunteer for the CRCL Complaint Team, you will be drafting these complaints using information gathered by another team of volunteers making client calls and compiling HP requests. No Spanish ability is required to volunteer for the CRCL Complaint Team. Email volunteer@alotrolado.org if you are interested in learning more!

Skills Needed/ Requirements: No language requirement; 10 hours per week (remote); Must attend two orientations: General Orientation (Mondays 2:30-3:30PM PST) and CRCL Training

  • HUMANITARIAN PAROLE PROJECT VOLUNTEER: AOL is looking for remote volunteers to work on their Humanitarian Parole Project. This involves filling out forms for clients and working with a Haitian interpreter who will be contacting the client directly. Email volunteer@alotrolado.org if you are interested in learning more!

Skills Needed/ Requirements: 5-10 hours per week for four weeks time commitment; Must attend two trainings: General Orientation (Mondays 2:30-3:30PM PST) and a topic specific training

Annunciation House

Annunciation House is actively seeking short-term volunteers to assist with providing hospitality to migrants and refugees. For out-of-town volunteers, we require a minimum commitment of 2 weeks, or one week for returning recent volunteers who are unable to recommit to two weeks. Volunteers must be fully vaccinated for COVID. Boosters are recommended for anyone who was vaccinated more than 6 months ago.

Visit https://annunciationhouse.org/shorttermvolunteering/ for more information and sign up forms. 

Carrizo/ Comecrudo Tribe of Texas

The Carrizo/ Comecrudo Tribe of Texas is looking for multiple volunteers to fill the roles of social media coordinator, website set-up and launch manager, and general tech support consultants as they build their online presence. Volunteers will be asked to attend an introduction call to learn more details about the support needed and the time commitment required. Time commitments may range from 1 to 5 hours per week, depending on the task, and volunteers should plan to commit a minimum of one month to this remote work. Volunteers should have familiarity with issues facing Native communities along the U.S./ Mexico border. 

Contact info@uucsj.org with the subject line Carrizo/ Comecrudo Volunteer to sign up!

Disaster Justice Network

Volunteer should be located in the Lake Charles, Louisiana area

The Disaster Justice Network is looking for for a volunteer to shadow and support a community leader who is helping install roofs for damaged homes in Lake Charles, LA that were affected by Hurricane Laura and the subsequent storms in the area. Volunteer should also have experience and interest in conducting research.

Contact info@uucsj.org with the subject line Disaster Justice Network to sign up!

Keeping Our Promise, Inc.

Volunteer attorneys and/or JDs are URGENTLY needed to help Afghan families.

Ellen Smith, the Executive Director of Keeping Our Promise, is seeking pro bono attorneys and JDs to support Afghan families navigating the humanitarian parole process. You can reach her at Ellen@keepingourpromise.org if you have legal qualifications and are able to assist.

Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention (LA-AID)

Volunteer Spanish-speakers needed to help support a transportation hotline.

Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention (LA-AID) is looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers to support their transportation hotline to organize daily pick-ups of released immigrants from eight detention centers in Louisiana and one in Mississippi. Volunteers can support this work from their homes and do not need to be based in Louisiana. If you’re comfortable speaking Spanish over the phone and can offer time in one-hour shifts (Between 9AM – 7PM Central) your support would be a huge benefit to the LA-AID team.

Visit https://laaid.org/volunteer/transport-hotline/ to learn more and sign up!

The Lowlander Center

The Lowlander Center in Louisiana is looking for multiple administrative volunteers who are interested in being integral members of the team. Volunteers should have experience working in organizations and be able to handle complex issues and work with the coalition to uplift their needs. Tasks will be based on volunteers’ availability. Specific tasks may include:

  • Monitor issues and available resources to support the team
  • Calendar management, including tracking meetings, grant deadlines, student volunteer hours, etc.
  • Support with communication and outreach efforts
  • Conduct historical research of an issue pertinent to an area

Contact info@uucsj.org with the subject line Lowlander Center Volunteer to sign up!

UU Justice Florida

UU Justice Florida is looking for a social media coordinator to help jumpstart their social media and amplify their important work! Volunteers are needed to support up to 5 hours per week for a minimum of 2 weeks.

Desired Qualities/ Skills:

  • Advanced to fluent Spanish-speaker who feels comfortable writing health-related messages into Spanish
  • Familiar with HootSuite and Canva for designing social media graphics
  • Preference for volunteers to be based in Central Florida, but not required

Contact info@uucsj.org with the subject line UUJF Volunteer to sign up!

Already Volunteered?
Stay Engaged!

Share Your Experience

UUCSJ would love to hear about your volunteer experience and understand how we can best continue to support your continued activism.

Volunteer Community on Facebook

Returned volunteers are encouraged to use this space to share helpful resources, ask questions, and share ideas on how to stay engaged in justice work following your volunteer experience. This is a closed group moderated by UUCSJ staff.

Stay In Touch

Want to stay up to date on new volunteer opportunities? Join the Volunteer Team and you will be notified of new volunteer opportunities and invited to apply to those that match your skills and interests.

UPDATES

Read UUCSJ’s Statement on its response to COVID-19, and its decision to indefinitely postponed all of our spring and summer programs involving travel and extended in-person contact HERE

New UUCSJ Workshops – UUCSJ, in collaboration with various partners, is excited to offer a number of new workshops, currently available online. Individuals and groups are invited to check out the current offerings here – this page will be updated as new workshops are added.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at hvickery@uucsj.org and 617-301-4303