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Rights and Justice Internship

Reports to: Director, Criminal Justice Reform
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Rights and Justice
Position classification: Internship
Minimum compensation: $16.10 per hour


American Progress has two openings for fall interns in its Rights and Justice department. American Progress is a leader in addressing issues of criminal justice reform, disability justice, gun violence prevention, immigration policy, LGBTQI+ rights, and racial equity and justice by driving research, messaging, and policy to defend and advance progressive policies that protect the rights of all Americans.

Rights and Justice interns will have the opportunity to complete substantive research, policy, and communications work across the department’s policy focus areas. Within this framework, interns will develop the skills and experience to contribute effectively to the national conversation. This role will be driven by American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.”

Rights and Justice interns will be part of a dynamic department that supports work across American Progress’ five crosscutting priorities:
  • Strengthening health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust in democracy

Rights and Justice interns will work closely with one or more of the following teams:
  • Criminal Justice Reform: The Criminal Justice Reform team is dedicated to developing policies that shrink the footprint of the criminal justice system while improving public health and safety; promote equity and accountability within the justice system; and provide opportunities for people directly affected by a criminal conviction.
  • Disability Justice Initiative (DJI): The DJI team focuses on developing disability policy goals and finding solutions to promote the application of principles of disability justice throughout American Progress’ work—including but not limited to cross-movement organizing, interdependence, collective liberation, and cross-disability solidarity. This work is both proactive and defensive, and it includes seeking opportunities to advance good policy, making progressive gains where possible, and attempting to prevent rollbacks of positive policies when necessary.
  • Gun Violence Prevention: More than 100 people die from gun violence in the United States each day, and hundreds more are injured with a firearm. American Progress’ Gun Violence Prevention team advocates for commonsense gun violence prevention policies to reduce the number of deaths and nonfatal firearm injuries through research and advocacy efforts.
  • Immigration Policy: The Immigration Policy team provides leadership on research, advocacy, and communications in all aspects of immigration and refugee policy in the United States. The team crafts and supports positive immigration policies and refutes negative and biased anti-immigrant sentiment and policy. The Immigration Policy team works closely with a broad coalition of advocacy organizations as well as congressional and government offices to promote real solutions to the nation’s immigration challenges.
  • LGBTQI+ Research and Communications Project: The team works to ensure that LGBTQI+ people achieve full legal and social equality, particularly by highlighting the ways in which these communities are a part of and served by the broader progressive policy agenda.
  • Racial Equity and Justice: The Racial Equity and Justice team develops, communicates, and implements policy ideas that provide a new way forward for a range of racial equity challenges in an increasingly diverse America.

  • Contribute to writing memos, blog posts, columns, event summaries, and reports.
  • Monitor and summarize relevant congressional activities, such as hearings.
  • Help identify opportunities to affect agency actions by monitoring the Federal Register.
  • Carry out web-based research and compile news clips on issue areas.
  • Compile and manipulate data in Microsoft Excel.
  • Draft rapid-response communications.
  • Update fact sheets, talking points, and documents on pertinent topics.
  • Track and develop content for social media and enhance the department’s social media presence.
  • Perform other duties, such as conducting targeted research and reporting on policy meetings, seminars, hearings, and lectures. Whenever possible, interns are encouraged to write on a subject of their choice, either as the individual author of a column for the website or as a contributor to a larger piece.

Requirements and qualifications:
  • Current pursuance of an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, or recent graduate.
  • Excellent research, writing, and editing skills.
  • Interest in public policy, advocacy, and communications.
  • Familiarity with different types of traditional and social media.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Self-starter who takes initiative and seeks direction as needed.
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Ability to diagnose problems and identify creative solutions.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

American Progress interns are paid at the Washington, D.C., minimum wage rate of $16.10 per hour. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Interns will receive paid time off for federal holidays. Interns are expected to be available to work from and commute to American Progress’ Washington, D.C., office at least two days per week. This position is not represented by a union.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid office work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.