Social and Economic Justice Internships are offered EVERY semester. Internships require at least 10 hours per week for each 3 semester credit course. Scholarships are available for many of our internships.
The Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP) is the Labor Center’s bridge between the academic and research world and the community. RISEP’s mission is to work on issues that improve the lives of working people and their families, with a special emphasis on low wage workers, immigrants, and marginalized and vulnerable populations. While RISEP has a broad national and international scope, we maintain a specialized focus on Florida, the regional south, and the Caribbean and Latin America. RISEP conducts social science, law, and policy research on issues that impact low-wage, immigrant, marginalized, and middle income workers and their families. RISEP’s research contributes to ongoing discussions about labor market, health care, unregulated and low-wage work, low wage and immigrant worker employment trajectories, poverty, microentrepreneurship, job quality, workforce development, high road development, housing, immigration, marginalization, social and political inequalities, the impact of climate change on jobs and economic development, developing industries and sectors, and the future of work. Our research helps develop informed local, state, and federal policy and advocacy efforts and serves as the basis for empowerment and organizing efforts that increase proactive community engagement in public, public education on key issues. RISEP's work is closely aligned closely with on-the-ground organizing, advocacy, and policy efforts, the institute often working to provide facts, figures, and information to these organizations about issues that impact the lives of working people.
RISEP offers two internship options:
Research and Policy Internship:
RISEP offers internships in applied research and policy. Research and policy interns learn to conduct quantitative and qualitative research and/or law and policy research to analyze economic sectors, job markets and working conditions, and relevant law and policy. The internship will teach students research methods and skills, and provide opportunities for field and secondary research, data analysis, and writing to allow students the opportunity to address exciting labor and social justice issues in a way that make a difference for working people, especially immigrants and people of color. Current projects include: ride-sharing research (Uber, Lyft etc); marginalized workers in the south; urban development in Miami; temporary and informal work; low wage work in Miami; labor in Cuba; the impact of climate change on jobs, housing, and development in Miami; and other projects.
- Interns' work can include: field research, research and policy work, data analysis; writing research briefs or fact sheets; and participating in policy forums and conferences. Students will receive skills-building training that applies to this work and thus it is not necessary for students to have relevant experience or knowledge coming into the internship. Interns will work closely with, and receive guidance from, a professor and mentor working in the field.
- This opportunity is open to students of all fields, and is especially useful in preparing for transitions into graduate school, law school, business school, and other professional programs and those seeking to enter the workforce upon graduation. It provides students the opportunity to conduct quantitative, qualitative research, and/or law and policy research, and supports them in the production of written work that can be used for graduate/professional school and job applications.
Media and Communications Internship:
This internship will offer you a chance to learn about crafting communications strategies, messaging, engaging the media, and advocacy campaigns. Interns will engage the public through social media and email campaigns, track reporters and news outlets, and monitor news coverage as it is garnered.
- Interns' work can include: The development of timely, interesting content for RISEP’s website, social media, newsletter, and other media platforms. Interns will help develop and promote press releases and statements, fact sheets, videos, and news media. Media and communications interns will develop their capacity and familiarity with software (photoshop, indesign, etc).
- This opportunity is open to students from all fields. It is an especially great opportunity for students interested in careers in media and communications, and provides students the ability to build a portfolio of work for the job market or graduate school applications.
RISEP expects interns to be full participants in projects, to take direction and supervision from our experienced field research associates, and to make meaningful contributions to our agenda of applied research and our mission to serve the interests of working people, their families, and communities.
“While interning at RISEP, I was able to develop research and writing skills that help me with many aspects of my life today. I was surrounded by a great team and it was always clear to me that our work had the potential to make a positive impact on people, particularly on low-income communities in Florida. I am currently employed with Florida New Majority, a leading grassroots social welfare organization based in Miami. My primary responsibilities are research and grant writing. The skills, and more importantly, the social justice principles I learned at RISEP have proved invaluable in my new career.”— Carlos interned at RISEP, 2010-2011
Service Learning Internships
The service learning internship track matches students with local community organizations. Each student will gain hands on experience while working with community leaders on different campaigns or projects that have a local or statewide focus on bringing social and economic justice to working families in Florida.
“After taking the Intro to Labor Studies course I became very passionate about social injustices occurring in my community. I wanted to be engaged in what has happening in my community and at the same time get credit for it, so I enrolled in the service learning internship. During my Fall semester I worked with the Miami-Dade’s Small Business Development Agency where I helped employees and employers to conciliate unpaid wages. In the Spring semester, I worked with Americans for Immigrant Justice where I worked with undocumented detainees helping them to learn about their rights. These Social Justice Internships have helped me to acquire workplace skills, meet other advocates, and most importantly, provided me with an outlet where I could pursue my passion for social justice within my own community. These experiences have been invaluable! In fact, having these internships under my belt strengthened my law school application!” —Linda interned at Americans for Immigrant Justice and Intern at Miami-Dade’s Small Business Development, 2011.
The list below indicates several community organizations where students may be placed:
- The Florida Immigrant Coalition
- Catalyst Miami
- Miami-Dade's Small Business Agency
- We Count!
- South Florida's American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Alternative to Violence Project (in local state prisons)
- Miami-Dade's Community Action and Human Services
- Americans for Immigrant Justice
- South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
- The International Rescue Committee
- Service Employees International Union - 32BJ
- Miami Workers Center
- Unite Here
- Florida New Majority
- AND MANY MORE!
For more information about how you can donate to student intern scholarships, to have your organization participate in the program or to apply as a student intern please contact our Director of Internship Programs Cynthia Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org