Founded in 1932, the Highlander Research and Education Center is a popular education center that works with grassroots groups in Appalachia and the South to promote social, racial and economic justice. Highlander is located 25 miles northeast of Knoxville, TN on a 186 acre farm. Highlander’s program work takes place at Highlander and in local communities across the South, as well as the country and sometimes world. Highlander’s long and proud history includes cutting edge work with labor education and organizing, the Civil Rights Movement, environmental justice in Appalachia, and more recently, on the changing demographics of our region. Highlander is world-renowned as a beacon for progressive organizing and widely acclaimed as a leadership development center for grassroots activists across race, culture and generations.
ZILPHIA HORTON CULTURAL ORGANIZING INTERN
Overview of the Position
This position is part of Highlander’s Education Team, and works directly with the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project Manager and the Cultural Programs Coordinator to support the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project residencies and the cultural organizing institute. Duties include logistical and administrative support, records management, documentation and evaluation. A strong understanding of the role of arts and cultural in organizing is imperative.
The goals of the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project are to expand the role of art and culture in their organizing and advocacy efforts; to broaden and enrich the work of the artists involved by enabling them to engage with community issues and to work with and learn from grassroots organizations; to highlight the vital role that art and culture can play in a popular education process addressing social and economic issues, and providing models for involving artists and cultural organizers in social justice organizing; develop a network of artists and activists involved in social justice organizing and strengthen the connections among them; and to bring community residents together across differences and enabling them to share their cultures with others in their communities and beyond.
This position includes a biweekly stipend, housing, mentoring and support for educational goals of internships. Highlander works to provide a valuable rich learning experience allowing interns an opportunity to contribute at Highlander Center. This internship is based in New Market, Tennessee.
Reports directly to the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project Manager and supports the Cultural Programs Coordinator.
Although Highlander’s workweek is an average commitment of 40 hours per week including 5 paid break hours, this role shall average approximately 20 hours per week for six months.
General Duties and Organizational Values
- Have a commitment to the mission and vision of Highlander and a commitment to Highlander’s core methodologies
- Organizing Actively participating in weekly Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project, Education Team, and general staff conference calls and meetings, with an eye for analysis, planning, learning, reflections, evaluations, and documentation;
- Taking notes for various meetings as assigned and distributing with approval by the Project Manager;
- Supporting the Zilphia Team in the reviewing proposals, vetting candidates, and co-facilitating meetings both internally and externally as assigned;
- Securing and maintaining documentation of all necessary release forms for all project participants engaged in the project, including Highlander staff
- Assisting in securing lodging and transportation as needed;
- Exemplifying ethical leadership throughout the implementation of the project;
- Communicate any substantive changes to your weekly work plan to the Project Manager;
- Maintaining a weekly journal including observations, statements of meaning, questions and concerns that arise out of the internship;
- Review and proof foundation interim and final reports.
- Keep the purpose of our work and the people with whom we work at the center of our activities and decisions.
- Actively participate as a member of a democratic participatory staff.
- Have the ability to communicate well in a verbal and written format
- Have your own transportation, computer and telephone
- Work collaboratively
- Other related duties as assigned.
Minimum Committee Responsibilities
Knowledge and Skills
- Passion for social justice work and a working understanding of varied artistic disciplines and genres with demonstrated experience working with grassroots groups and the ability work with communities across race, class, gender, and sexual orientation
- Strong facilitation skills with willingness and ability to represent the Highlander on a national, regional, and local levels
- Strong written communication skills; ability to write clear, structured, articulate and persuasive writing with excellent editorial skills
- Have wonderful organization and time management skills, understand programmatic timelines and ability to work both independently and collaboratively, consistently meeting deadlines
- Be able to use technology to read email, write reports and transmit information electronically
- Be good at troubleshooting and conflict management and resolution
- Core computer skills in word processing, database management, spreadsheets and electronic communications
- Strong contributor in team environments
If you are interested in applying for an internship, please forward a letter of interest and resume that include answers to the following questions:
Why Highlander, and why now?
What do you see as the role of Popular Education in our society?
What are your specific community organizing interests?
How do you see your interests and the work of Highlander connecting?
What do you feel you can learn here?
Where do you see some hope for change in our society?
What community-based work have you done, and/or what community-based organizations have you been involved in?
Do you have specific skills to offer?
Do you have your own transportation?
Please be sure to include your complete address, email and phone numbers.
For more information, you can contact: Marquez Rhyne, 210.216.8585.