Youth Writing for Justice: Credited internship, Fall ’15

YOUTH WRITING FOR JUSTICE; MEMOIR AS A TOOL FOR ACTION AND CHANGE

CREDITED INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNTIES—FALL’15

This semester-long internship provides students with an opportunity to become part of a movement that uses a story-based strategy for change.

Interns from a wide range of disciplines including criminology, sociology, psychology, women studies, literature and law* will be writing and working side by side with high school students who come from neighborhoods where violence, poverty, early incarceration, injustice to immigrants, racial profiling, and inequality of opportunity prevail. Through this process, the interns will acquire new lenses through which to experience the real needs of the populations they are studying and will eventually serve. There will be a special emphasis on writing for racial justice, looking at police practices, and the impact of mass incarceration on families and communities, while developing story-based action and advocacy strategies to elevate the voices of those who have not had a place at the table when it comes to the social and criminal justice policies.

REQUIREMENTS

1). Writing

Tuesdays, 3:45-5:30 PM— A cohort of 10-12 interns will participate in required weekly workshops at Hofstra University in order to develop a 7-15 page personal memoir that can be used in the movement for change, while helping the high school students find the courage to tell the stories that need to be told. (This is a writing-intensive workshop and interns must take the weekly writing requirements seriously).

2). Action and Advocacy

Tuesdays, 5:30-6:20 PM — All participating interns will be required to meet weekly before the workshop with the high school students in a seminar setting to develop key strategies to effect changes in policies, attitudes and practices. Each intern will be guided to focus on one or more of the following service or advocacy opportunities, depending on her or his schedule and interests:

  • Work with Prison Families Anonymous (PFA) to give public and legislative presentations centered around a new volume of stories of children of the incarcerated, All I Ever Wanted… This will include presentations on college campuses, at meetings of prison families, and at local high schools.
  • Work with Herstory and PFA to organize reading circles for parenting groups in re-entry and local youth groups.
  • Organize reading circles and teach-ins on college campuses centered around the volume All I Ever Wanted…(see above) and the collection of memoirs of previously incarcerated juveniles Taking Back Our Children.
  • Attend meetings with legislators working on prison reform and conferences looking at the ways police practices, and social and economic inequalities create a vicious cycle of violence, incarceration and disenfranchisement.

If you’re interested in this internship please contact Dr. Robin Flaton at Robin.A.Flaton@Hofstra.edu and/or visit Dr. Flaton at her office (115 Hauser Hall) on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday mornings between 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM.

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