The Prison Birth Project is an organization focused on reproductive justice, working to provide education, support and advocacy to incarcerated girls, women and mothers. Our goal is to provide tools to help make empowering choices and provide spaces for women on the margins to come together and share their collective wisdom to support each other, create community and social change.
The Prison Birth Project has four program areas that we are working to build. Through the Doula Project, we provide Doula care to women incarcerated at the Western Mass Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee (WCC) through transitional programs and after release. Mothers Among Us, a group for mothers at WCC and in the community who are at risk of incarceration or have been affected by the system. Our Education & Advocacy component organizes mothers on the outside to help define and create just communities and make the community aware of issues of incarceration and motherhood. We are focusing current efforts on Massachusetts Anti-Shackling organizing. The Sister to Sister Program is a growing project that empowers program participants on the inside or out to be trained as Doulas, Childbirth Educators, Lactation Consultants, Mentors and Facilitators.
The Prison Birth Project envisions a world with safe and just communities and where all women are supported and valued and have access to the support they need to parent in healthy ways.
This position works with the organizational sphere within the Prison Birth Project. This intern will be responsible for the outreach, intake and placement of interested volunteers and interns, for the organization of member trainings, meetings, reading groups, etc. This position would ideally be filled by two people, with at least one person having a knowledge of and contact with resources and people in the 5-College and area community college systems.
This position also works closely with the organizational sphere within PBP. The Materials committee coordinator intern will be responsible for organizing journal making workshops and skill-shares. This position is responsible for coordinating the procurement of materials for the office and programs. The position is also responsible for coordinating with local food establishments in order to receive food donations for PBP. The intern will be responsible for appreciation projects (ex: thank you cards) for donors as a follow up for projects, events, and donations throughout the season. In addition to collecting donations themselves, the position will also be responsible for coordinating volunteers to assist in materials collection.
This position is within the organizational support sphere of PBP and is responsible for collecting information on specific theories and practices of childcare that intersect with social justice work. This intern will be responsible for the creation of a training for childcare providers that includes anti-oppression issues and conceptions of intergenerational movement building. This will be a collaboration between two childcare interns who will work together to build a base of trained childcare volunteers and to build a greater community around childcare. In addition to research, intern will be responsible for outreach and coordination of childcare volunteers, with the possible responsibility of childcare volunteer meeting facilitation.
The intern for this position would be responsible for organizational and logistical support of the fundraising Sphere. Specific tasks include helping formulate the quarterly newsletter, helping to plan our annual event in March, grant research, data entry. There is also opportunity for interns to create their own fundraising or educational event.
Within PBP are several different spheres that do specific work that pertains to the various aspects of PBP. Each sphere has a representative at collective meetings which make up PBP’s Leadership Circle. The intern position would be providing support to the Leadership Circle at monthly meetings as well as coordinating between different spheres in between meeting dates. Opportunities to join subcommittees will be possible as well (events, legislative organizing, etc).
This position is for someone with specific grant writing skills and experience. Intern would assist in researching new grant opportunities as well as formatting and writing grants for PBP.
Mothers Among Us
The Mothers Among Us sphere runs the women’s group within the jail. Intern would be responsible for supporting MAU organizationally by picking up/dropping off food and materials for group, data entry, and other miscellaneous tasks.
Education and Anti-Shackling
This position will work with various staff to support state coalition-building and create public education materials.
Notes on the internship location:
Office: Downtown Amherst.
We have a small office in downtown Amherst. Interns can work out of the office although staff and leadership generally use the office for meetings and storage.
Most of our programs run out of Western Massachusetts Regional Women's Correctional Center (Chicopee, Hampden County, MA).
Meetings: Northampton, Amherst and surrounding communities.
Most of our meetings are held near downtown Amherst or downtown Northampton. Occasionally, we meet in other towns in Western Massachusetts.
Varies depending on the project work. Generally, interns should be self-motivated and independent. Excellent organizational and communication skills are required. Experience working remotely and collectively are preferred. Proficiency using computers and web-based programs is encouraged. Much of the collaborative work happens remotely using GoogleDocs.
Doula training AND experience is required for working with the Doula Project. (Not a general requirement for working with PBP.)
Understanding of issues of incarceration, mothering/parenting and birth related topics/experience is preferred. Ability to work under flexible circumstances as well as in a multi-generational atmosphere. We welcome interns who are parents and/or who have personal experience with the criminal justice system.