Volunteer-Supported Organizing: Catalyst Project Intern & Volunteer Programs
Catalyst Project relies heavily on volunteer labor by unpaid staff, interns, and a volunteer crew to move forward our anti-racist organizing and education work. Our approach to organizing includes finding meaningful ways for people to participate in ongoing activism, long-term organizing, and movement building at different levels of capacity. We believe more spaces are needed where newer anti-racist activists can find mentorship and political support to develop as effective organizers, educators, and leaders, and that there are many roles to play as well as much work to be done. Our volunteer and intern programs provide some of those opportunities, as well as concretely supporting and making possible the work of Catalyst Project through their labor.
Volunteer with Catalyst
Catalyst Project’s volunteer crew helps to build Catalyst’s infrastructure and organizing, and is a big part of our participation in local Bay Area movement-building. We also have volunteer opportunities for people located outside the Bay, who contribute their time and talents in graphic design, communications, fundraising organizing, and other skills.
We host work parties and volunteer orientations, as well as running several study groups each year for interns and volunteers. Our volunteers are also connected with ongoing opportunities to engage in the Catalyst community and broader Bay Area social justice movement. For volunteers who can make a regular time commitment occasionally opportunities arise to work with staff on more involved projects.
To get involved please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catalyst Project internships combine administrative and program support, grassroots fundraising, political education, community engagement with racial and economic justice organizations, and mentorship by Catalyst staff and movement leaders.
We’ve had many fabulous interns over the years who have contributed so much love and labor to the organization. It’s a great way to make a big contribution to Catalyst’s efforts for anti-racist movement building, to connect with anti-racist community, and explore organizational skill-building. Previous interns have taken skills developed with us into their communities, paid work, and organizing efforts in a variety of ways.
We accept interns year-round. The minimum commitment is 15 hours a week for 3 months or more. Staff works with full and half-time interns to develop and direct projects.
Adrian Wilson began our 3-month internship and decided to stay for 6 months. Adrian shares this reflection on his experience:
“It’s difficult for me to overstate how much working with Catalyst for the past six months has helped me in my political development. One year ago, I was arrested in a protest against the police murder of a young African-American man, Oscar Grant, in Oakland; I was falsely charged with a felony, spent ten days in jail, and my year-long legal battle only ended recently when I pled guilty to two misdemeanors and got three years of probation. This experience left me with deep questions about how anti-racist strategy should fit into my organizing work, and I was drawn to Catalyst largely because it was a space where I could find support in thinking through these questions. I’m leaving Catalyst as a much stronger activist, with a richer and deeper analysis.”
Through Swarthmore College, Anna Stitt did a 40-hour per week summer internship with Catalyst Project in the summer of 2011. As part of her internship, she worked one day a week with SOUL: School for Unity and Liberation, learning about and supporting their political education work with communities of color. Anna says:
“My internship at Catalyst Project helped me grow in so many ways. I learned an incredible amount from the day-to-day skill building that comes from doing the micro-elements of organizing, from my Catalyst mentorship, conversations in the office, transcribing brilliant people, and the constant growth and increased clarity that come from working alongside wise, thoughtful, experienced organizers. Interning at Catalyst for me meant steadily developing commitment toward, and skill to facilitate strategic white anti-racist political education and multi-racial alliance-based organizing. I feel lucky to have been able to be an intern at Catalyst Project.”
Gianna interned with us in 2009 for a semester of UC Santa Cruz’s Community Studies major, and said:
“What I am taking away from my internship is that it is everyone’s task to move the work of collective liberation forward. Our movements can only get as big as the number of people willing and able to take responsibility for building and engaging”
If you are interested, please fill out an application by clicking here.
For questions, please email email@example.com. Internships are unpaid; credit may be arranged for college or graduate programs.
Hours will be arranged between intern and staff supervisor, and will be primarily in our office. Catalyst Project is based in the Mission District of San Francisco. Unfortunately our office is not wheelchair accessible. We strive to make our office accessible for those with chemical sensitivities.