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Queers for Economic Justice

Mission: 

Queers for Economic Justice is a progressive non-profit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. Our goal is to challenge and change the systems that create poverty and economic injustice in our communities, and to promote an economic system that embraces sexual and gender diversity. We are committed to the principle that access to social and economic resources is a fundamental right, and we work to create social and economic equity through grassroots organizing, public education, advocacy and research. We do this work because although poor queers have always been a part of both the gay rights and economic justice movements, they have been, and continue to be, largely invisible in both movements. This work will always be informed by the lived experiences and expressed needs of queer people in poverty.

Internship description: 

An intern with Queers for Economic Justice would have the opportunity to work on a number of different projects, including:

  • Welfare Warriors – The Welfare Warriors will be organizing a summer organizing school this year, to provide political history/education and organizing skills to members of our constituency to join our organizing work. We will also be screening a documentary we produced with the results of a community research project about poor queer and trans people in NYC (at shelters, agencies, outdoor events last summer, etc.) to get a sense of how they survive during tough economic times and how they navigate social service agencies. An intern could help coordinate the logistics of the organizing school, and depending on the intern, perhaps help facilitate it. The intern could also work with staff to set up screenings of the documentary and community focus groups.
  • On-going online presence development – website maintenance (redeveloped site launching soon); move into more online organizing like the Democracy in Action model. A tech savvy intern could help with this development and integration of the new website and online organizing; the intern could also train members of Shelter and Welfare Warrior programs to access the website and online organizing tools.
  • Shelter Project – working with both service providers at shelters to improve competency in service provision to queer and trans shelter residents and with people living in shelters, running support groups and providing leadership development. An intern could help train other volunteers to work in shelters around the city with shelter staff and residents and lend general support to this project.
  • The intern could have the opportunity to devote some of the internship to a self-designed project that fits in with the mission and goals of QEJ and matches the intern’s goals for the summer; this could be project research, grant research and writing, workshop design and facilitation, etc.
  • The Shelter Safety Campaign
  • Queer Survival Economies
Internship skills needed: 

QEJ has a rigorous work environment based on the issues we work on, but we're also far from being stiff. Interns should expect to be adaptable, flexible, and able to work in an office that's always buzzing with activity. We're a fun organization that plays well with others, and interns should be too. Interns should be able to work with LGBT, Queer and trans-identified low-income and homeless people. In terms of “hard skills” computer literacy and strong writing skills are useful.

Because many of our constituents and members are homeless or on welfare, being comfortable working with poor and low-income LGBT people, especially people of color is extremely important.

Languages required: 
English; but Spanish would be helpful.
Location: 
How to find us: 
QEJ is in the NYC Chelsea neighborhood in a building that is also the home for the Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
Work hours: 
10am-6pm Mon-Friday, unless after-hours are required, in which case hours will be adjusted accordingly.
Dress code: 
Casual