Volunteer Opportunities

The UUCSJ Volunteer Placements 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 – while also deepening their understanding of systems of injustice and reflecting on one’s personal connection to justice work.

Upcoming Actions + Resources

On Friday, July 12, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps, will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to concentration camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants. Click here to find an event in your city.

Upcoming Webinar

Join Side With Love, Love Resists, American Friends Service Committee, and various grassroots immigration organizations in an action-based webinar on Wednesday, July 17 at 8PM Eastern/ 5PM Pacific. Whether you are new to immigrant justice or seasoned at resistance, this call will help you discern your next steps so you can side with love to resist. Click here to learn more and register

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.

To learn more, please check out the Volunteer Journey: Lighting the Way to Right Relationship

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. 

Interested in volunteering?
Check out the opportunities below

Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado is a bi-national (U.S. and Mexico) organization offering direct legal services to underserved deportees, migrants, and refugees. Due to the diverse needs of the individuals and families they serve, they coordinate with legal and non-legal professionals in a range of areas such as family law, labor law, criminal law, and employment law. More details >> 

Date/s: Ongoing; one week minimum
Location: Tijuana, Mexico or San Diego, California

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Al Otro Lado is also looking for volunteers to monitor the Migrant Persecution Protocols in the San Diego Immigration Court. Volunteers do not need to be an immigration attorney to be a court observer

Dates/s: Weekdays
Location: San Diego, California

Visit their sign up form to learn more and sign up for available time slots.

Witness at Homestead Child Detention Center

The U.S. government is currently holding over 2,000 child migrants, many of whom have been separated from their families by U.S. immigration officials, in a detention center in Homestead, Florida. Instead of being released to family members or other sponsors, many are spending weeks or months in inhumane detention. And because Homestead is an emergency influx center, children are not protected by agreements that ordinarily ensure licensing and other standards are met.

Volunteers are needed to bear witness and provide support as needed to organizers and activists traveling to Homestead, Florida. UUCSJ will begin recruitment when more information is received.

Click here to sign the petition to Close the Homestead Child Detention Center

HIAS Volunteers Needed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

HIAS is organizing small groups of volunteers to travel to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (across from El Paso, TX) to assist with serving Central American asylum seekers who are being forced to wait in Juarez, as well as those who are waiting for their turn to present themselves at the border to ask for asylum. Fluent and Native Spanish-speaking volunteers are needed. Volunteers need not be licensed attorneys or have experience in asylum law, as training will be provided.

Visit the HIAS Volunteer Interest Form for more information and to sign up!

Annunciation House

[NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING VOLUNTEERS] Annunciation House is a volunteer, non-profit organization providing accompaniment and basic emergency services to asylum seekers at the border. With the current number of people arriving from Central America and the coming caravan from Honduras, they are in need of volunteers to help with intakes, transportation, travel arrangements, the clothing bank, and providing meals.

Dates: Not Yet Determined
Location: El Paso, Texas

More details >> 

FM4 Paso Libre

FM4 Paso Libre, is a non-profit organization that works to defend and promote the human rights of migrants and refugees in the west part of Mexico through comprehensive support, advocacy and research.

Date/s: Year Round, Minimum one month of service
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico

More details >> 

Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR)

GLAHR needs volunteers with experience in grant writing and website development to support their growing movement throughout the state of Georgia.

Date/s: Minimum of 20 hours of service
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

More details >> 

RAICES

RAICES is looking for fluent Spanish-speaking volunteers to travel to San Antonio to support asylum seekers!

Dates: Ongoing
Location: San Antonio, Texas

More details >> 

The Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)

The Muslim Anti-Racist Collaborative (MuslimARC), founded in 2014, is a faith-based human rights education organization. Their goals are to create learning spaces that foster racial equity, connect people to build a multi-racial network, and cultivate solutions to advance and amplify racial equity.

Date/s: Ongoing – Minimum of 10-15 hours of service
Location: Virtual

More details >> 

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

Click here to join the UUCSJ 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.

Individual and Group Actions

Sanctuary & Solidarity: Options for Congregational ActionDeveloped by UUSC, UUA, and UUCSJ

Supporting People in Immigration DetentionInformation curated by Freedom For Immigrants

Directory of Community Bail Fundsby the Community Justice Exchange

Sanctuary EverywhereResources from the American Friends Service Committee

Changing Systems, Changing Ourselves – Anti-Racist practice for Sanctuary, Accompaniment, and Resistance

Congregational Asset Mapping Inventory Checklist

Articles on Activism

Know Before You Go

  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate; UUCSJ does not organize volunteer placements for families with children
  • If background checks are required to volunteer, UUCSJ cannot assist with obtaining background checks. For more information, visit Criminal Watch Dog
  • UUCSJ requires that all volunteers have or will have health insurance that will cover them in the volunteer location
  • UUCSJ does not have funding available to assist volunteers when traveling to and from volunteer locations, nor for self-support while at the volunteer site (e.g. internal transportation, food, medical needs)
  • For many locations, UUCSJ requires that all volunteers have received a tetanus shot within 9 months of the volunteer opportunity
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