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Opportunities at SOA Watch PDF Print E-mail
Internships
Volunteer Opportunities



Internships

We are a nonviolent grassroots movement that works to stand in solidarity with the people of Latin America, to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA, now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC), and to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the SOA represents. We are grateful to our sisters and brothers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean for their inspiration and the invitation to accompany them in their struggle for economic and social justice.

Our staff is made up of paid, unpaid, full-time, and part-time activists who are all dedicated to this work. Interns have played a critical role in the campaign to close the School of the Americas. While these positions are unpaid, financial assistance for housing and transportation is available.

All of the internships and volunteer opportunities listed below are offered at the SOA Watch Washington DC office, which is located on the Metro Bus' 70 line in Petworth.

Internships in SOA Watch's Washington, DC office

Organizing Intern

The Organizing Intern work with the National and Field Organizers to coordinate, develop, and promote the SOA Watch campaign and major events such as the annual Spring Lobby Days in DC to close the SOA/WHINSEC and Trial Preparation for members of the SOA Watch movement who are standing trial for civil disobedience actions, as well as the Annual November Vigil in Georgia. The internship could include, but is not limited to: working with SOA Watch working groups on elements of event organizing, assisting the Outreach Coordinator with convening the organizing process for major events and bottom-lining major events, updating the web site, and contacting partner organizations and supporting grassroots activists in their work to build outreach, media, direct action, legislative and organizing capacities.

Research and Legislative Intern

The Research and Legislative Intern will work with the staff collective (South and North), national council, and working groups to implement the national legislative strategy to close the SOA/WHINSEC, and to expand our research efforts. This work could include, but is not limited to: Assisting with the preparation of materials for Members of Congress and for the grassroots including website updates, attending meetings with coalition partners, participating in direct lobbying efforts, researching and monitoring Congressional activity as it pertains to Latin America, and working with the nationally representative Legislative Working Group and Research Working Group via email and conference calls to discuss, formulate, and carry-out the legislative and research strategies.

Communications Intern

The Communications Intern will work with the SOA Watch Communications Coordinator in implementing media efforts to close the SOA/WHINSEC. This could include generating US and Latin American media lists, developing educational material for media and grassroots activists, updating the web page, and building relationships and pitching stories about the SOA to alternative and corporate media.

Fundraising Intern

The Fundraising Intern will work with the SOA Watch Development Working Group, and directly in the office with the Development and Operations Coordinator. Tasks for the Fundraising Intern include, but are not limited to:
1. Grant research and writing
2. Organizational funding appeals
3. Facilitating donor relations
4. Compiling regional fundraising toolkits and guides
5. Updating the fundraising page on SOA Watch's website

More Information About Interning with SOA Watch:

Interns commit to a certain number of hours per week. The minimum commitment is 24 hours per week; 32-40 hours per week is most common.

Interns become a full member of the SOA Watch staff during their internship. All staff responsibilities are expected of interns, such as participating in weekly staff meetings and sharing in the facilitation and note-taking of these meetings. By the same token, these interns are given the same decision-making power as a staff person. These interns have input into her/ his job description and work. In other words, an invitation to join SOA Watch in one of these four internship roles is an invitation to join the staff collective.

A little less than half of these interns' time will be spent doing the general administrative work that all office staff participate in. These duties include answering the phone, responding to e-mail requests, going to the post office, etc. These interns' share of these duties will be no more than any other staff member. These four positions are not all filled at once; typically there are one or two of these interns working at any given time.

The internship program is generally very flexible and can be shaped for each person. An important part of the work environment is participating in the collective process and supporting each other in our work.

Qualifications for Internships:

Required:
1. Strong commitment to working in a diverse, grassroots movement rooted in solidarity with the people of Latin America. Commitment to the mission of SOA Watch as described above.
2. Ability to work independently and in a collective process; follow-through and attention to detail is essential.
3. Strong computer skills.
4. Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
5. Willingness to work in a consensus decision-making environment

Desired:
1. Experience overseas
2. An ability to speak Spanish
3. Strength in the program area for which you applying

To Apply:

Please send your resume, list of three references, and a cover letter indicating:
1. Why you would like to intern at SOA Watch.
2. What strengths you would bring to the staff collective.
3. Whether you are applying for a half-time or full-time position, and that you acknowledge this position to be unpaid.
4. What types of projects are you most interested in. Describe what you would like to do in an internship at SOA Watch.

Please submit your application by mail to SOA Watch, 5525 Illinois Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20011, or e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
We are accepting applications for these internships on a rolling basis.


SOA WATCH in LATIN AMERICA

The SOA WATCH Latin America office offers three different internships, or "activantia" roles in Latin America: Honduras, Chile and Venezuela. The term activante was coined by our first international team of young activists, who did not identify with the term "intern." They flipped the Spanish version of the word, pasante – associated to the Spanish pasivo, passive – to its opposite: activante. This term is a good reflection of what the role calls for: energy, leadership, initiative, dynamism, and creativity.


Acompaniment Activante in Honduras

After the SOA-led coup in 2009, repression in Honduras was brutally unleashed against the growing resistance movement . Over 100 people have been killed. The presence of international accompaniment is urgently being requested by our Honduran partners as a way of bringing a measure of safety to the lives of Hondurans taking a stand for justice.   This position requires experience in Latin America, fluency in Spanish and a commitment of 6 months. Stipend for travel, food and lodging is available. If interested, contact: Lisa Sullivan This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Communications Activante in SOAW Office in Santiago, Chile

Youth in Chile are at the forefront of challenging an economic model cemented by the Pinochet dictatorship that that forces young people into debt before their adult lives begin. In the past week one student was killed by security forces when protesting the growing privatization of education. The SOAW Chile activante would join SOAW’s Equipo Sur office in Santiago in connecting with this growing youth movement in Chile as well as contributing to the monthly Boletin de las Americas and the Somos Una America radio program. These are two dynamic formats that share initiatives of anti militarization work throughout the Latin America. This position requires Spanish fluency, experience in communications and a commitment of 4-6 months. If interested, contact Pablo Ruiz This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Youth leadership activante in SOAW Office in Barquisimeto, Venezuela

This person would join a team of activantes from several Latin American countries in laying the groundwork for a budding SOAW youth movement. They will work together to organize local and bi-national “encuentros” to connect youth who are using art, radio, theatre, music, dance and more  to challenge a system of militarization. This position requires Spanish fluency, energy, love of team work and a commitment of 2-6 months.  If interested contact Lisa Sullivan This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Volunteer Opportunities

The Media Volunteer will support the Communications Coordinator and media working group during SOA Watch events and when general media work is needed throughout the year

Duties include:
1. Making pitch calls to media outlets--newspaper, television and radio.
2. Website Updating
3. General Media Office Support

Required Qualifications:
1. Excellent communication skills
2. Familiarity with CMS and HTML systems
Desired Qualifications:
1. Professional experience working with media
2. Bilingual Spanish/English
If you are interested in any of these volunteer positions, please contact the SOA Watch office at (202) 234-3440 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to arrange for a short interview. Volunteer positions may start at any time.


The Database and Correspondence Volunteer will facilitate communications with its grassroots membership of over 60,000 supporters.

We need someone who can:

  • Enter new contacts into database
  • Change and delete contacts based on the Postal Service's Address Service Requested system
  • Respond to e-mail and letter requests for information
  • Manage partner outreach operations

 

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Contact us

SOA Watch
5525 Illinois Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20011

phone: 202-234-3440
email: info@soaw.org