The RReNEW Collective is currently accepting applications for short term and long term interns at our campaign house in the mountain town of Appalachia Virginia. The RReNEW Collective is a group of young, mostly Virginian organizers working hard locally in the fight to end Mountain Top Removal and to promote a sustainable, diverse, and just economy in Appalachia(the town and region). We spend our time working on various projects, from canvassing with resident members of the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards to keep coal dust from blanketing the community, to attending community meetings on building a sustainable and just economy, supporting the organizing of campus environmental groups. Interns also find ways to bring their unique skills into local projects like web design, grant writing, and knowledge of labor history, geography, biology, etc. You can check out the current and planned campaign work here.
Community organizing is all about building strong relationships, so the RReNEW Collective is most excited about taking on interns who can make long term commitments (6 months and longer) but we can put people to work on specific projects over summer or winter break as well. We realize its difficult for most people to pick up their lives and move, so we’re excited to work with folks in the region to set up regular days to come out and lend a hand. We aren’t experts, and we aren’t holding out for any either. We’re glad to teach you what you need to know to be an effective part of the collective, we’re all participating in a learning process and expect to leave RReNEW as more effective organizers ready to fight for justice in other communities.
In looking for interns, we want to prioritize people from coal counties, Appalachia, and Appalachian states. People who grew up in the region have a more intimate understanding of the culture and history which is always important when doing community organizing. We also know that Appalachians frequently get the short end of the stick, so we’re hoping to not replicate that in our search for new interns. Similarly, we know that certain groups of people in our world tend to get preferential treatment across the board, and so we will take that into account in our selection process and prioritize people who frequently don’t have exciting opportunities like this made available to them.
Intern positions are, for now, unpaid. We provide free housing and food, and can reimburse interns for many expenses such as travel and supplies. We are always in the process of finding intern stipends because we know many RReNEW interns have had difficulty in paying bills and debts while they dedicated their time to the movement. We, like so many other small groups, are funded almost entirely through grassroots fundraising so if you can’t intern you should consider throwing us a fundraiser in your community so that we can better support our interns.
Some specific internships that are open are:
Student Organizing Intern – working with local highschool students and regional college students to bring Appalachian youth into the movement against MTR. Interns in this program should be able to stay for a minimum of an entire semester, but interns who can spend an entire school year are strongly encouraged to apply.
Dust Campaign Intern – working closely with SAMS members in their fight to control the coal dust blanketing their communities. This work involves supporting communities to develop community based water and dust monitoring systems, pressuring regulatory agencies, and much more.
Sustainable Economic Development Intern – working with local working people and small business owners to promote a sustainable economy that is good for workers and communities in Appalachia.
Ison Rock Ridge Intern – working on the, thus far successful, campaign to protect Ison Rock Ridge from being destroyed. This campaign is in a crucial stage right now.
Fundraising Intern – Grassroots organizing takes money, help fund the work of SAMS and RReNEW and learn important skills for sustaining environmental justice organizing.
House Sustainability Intern – we want to model the world we want to see in our actions today, so this work would be making the house as sustainable as possible.
We’re always open to finding ways to put your skills to use in our campaigns, so apply even if you don’t see how you could immediately fit in.
If you are interested in an internship, or have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fill out an application.