Project Description: CLSJ Voter Engagement
In 1986, the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College (CLSJ) was founded as a community service unit of Medgar Evers College, CUNY in Brooklyn, to serve as an institutional response to continuing systemic racial injustices. Today, CLSJ continues to address racial issues by working to build a civically educated and empowered Black electorate that regularly uses political power to marshal the representation and resources necessary for its communities to thrive.
In 2021, CLSJ worked with a host of organizations to get the word out about NYC’s new Ranked Choice Voting system and hired Street Team Educators to familiarize Black voters throughout the city with the new system. Over the summer, CLSJ continued the work of preparing New Yorkers of African descent to participate in the redistricting process in order to ensure that they receive their fair share of political power. During the 2021-22 academic year, CLSJ re-launched its Advocacy Academy, an 11-week course designed to equip Black New Yorkers with the skills they need in order to engage in issue organizing and community-driven change.
Over the next several years, similar hyper-targeted, culturally competent outreach and civics education initiatives will be necessary to empower Black voters to more meaningfully participate in elections, in less widely understood processes like redistricting (the process used to redraw political district boundaries and further build and sustain political power) and how to effectively organize around issues important to them and their neighbors. CLSJ stands ready to do our part to prepare Black New Yorkers to more meaningfully participate in the civic structures and leadership opportunities that shape their access to resources and political power as a key tool for social change.
2022 Medgar Evers College Voter Education Internship Program
In 2020, our MEC Census Student Interns helped CLSJ to educate our community about the importance of filling out the 2020 Census. In 2021, our MEC Rank Choice Voting Student Interns helped CLSJ educate Black New Yorkers about the new voting system. Today, we’re looking for 10 more students who believe in the power of community working together to help us educate Black New Yorkers about the importance of voter participation.
Our goal is to reach key Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens neighborhoods to disseminate voter education materials, explain ballot initiatives, and help prospective voters locate their voting precincts and make a vote plan.
Students will be trained to work in small teams for a 6-week session through the November 2022 election. Students will work 20 hours a week and the internship stipend is $2400. Ideal candidates are MEC students who are excited about making a change in their community, work well in groups and like talking to people.
To apply, send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Voting Rights Intern Application” in the subject heading. Resumes accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.