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About the Building a Movement (BAM) Labor Internship

The Building a Movement Labor (BAM) Internship is a paid internship program that connects undergraduate students at the University of Washington with the local labor movement, through partnerships with community organizations engaged with this work on a variety of levels. Students who are invested in labor and social justice advocacy are given the opportunity to explore how organizations work to make systemic and community-level changes for the benefit of working people, and make meaningful contributions to that process.

BAM offers students a broader understanding of what work in the labor movement can look like through firsthand experience, especially students who are considering pursuing labor as a career. Students will build connections and relationships with folks working in labor, learn about the history of labor organizing, develop meaningful professional and leadership skills, and ultimately create and engage in spaces that discuss how our efforts can collectively contribute to the broader labor movement and the systemic liberation of all working (and non-working) peoples. 



How to Apply for the BAM Internship 

The on-line application portal is currently LIVE and accepting applications for Spring 2022. The due date for applications is Monday, March 21, at 11:59PM.


To Apply for the Spring 2022 Building A Movement Labor Internship, Click Here


Application Instructions

Before applying, we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the organizations offering positions through the BAM Labor Internship:

  • Legacy of Equality Leadership and Organizing (LELO) 
    • Formerly known as the Northwest Labor and Employment Law Office,  LELO was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1972 when Black workers from the United Construction Workers Association, Asian workers from the Alaska Cannery Workers Association and Latino workers from the Northwest Chapter of the United Farmworkers of America came together to work for racial and economic justice. LELO strives to empower low-income workers of color, recent immigrants and women workers to assert their rights, improve their working conditions and gain a voice in their workplaces, trade unions and communities in the U.S. and across the globe.
  • Washington Labor Education and Research Center (WA LERC), South Seattle College
    • Our education and research are focused on the daily experience of Washington workers. We use popular education to support workers developing skills in workplace leadership and advocacy, and build knowledge of workers' rights, labor history, and our political systems. Our research team creates timely, relevant reports on Washington’s working families, with special emphasis on the needs of Washington women, BIPOC, low wage, immigrant, and vulnerable workers.
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199NW 
    • SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, a progressive healthcare union is part of the fastest growing union in the country. We are a union of 30,000 healthcare workers strong and growing in Washington State. We work toward economic and racial justice in our communities and building strong worker led unions that advocate for good jobs, safer staffing and a voice on the job for frontline staff in hospitals, clinics, behavior health and social service agencies

In submitting the on-line application, a student will provide the following materials:

  1. A resume, highlighting skills such as language abilities, personal, and academic interests that speak to your interest in this position.

  2. College transcript. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

  3. Up to date contact information, including e-mail and phone number.

  4. Written responses  (no more than 400 words) to the following questions:

    1. Why are you most interested in working with a particular position? What do you hope to gain from this experience? Further information about positions and additional host-specific questions are available in the BAM Labor Internship application itself.

    2. Tell us about what drew you to the BAM Labor Internship. Why are you interested in labor organizing and labor studies?

    3. How does this internship fit into your broader career, academic, and personal goals?

    4. List any significant time commitments you expect to have throughout Spring 2021. If selected for the internship position you indicated interest in, how will you balance this commitment with your other commitments?

    5. If possible, would you like to earn academic credit for the BAM Labor Internship position? Please note, students have an 18 credit limit per quarter - if you would like to add academic credit to this internship and you are already signed up for 18 credits in the upcoming quarter, you may incur additional tuition fees from the UW.



Contact Yasmin Ahmed, Assistant Director of Student and Community Engagement for the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at ypahmed@uw.edu.



Internship Eligibility

The BAM Labor Internship is open to current undergraduates of any year and in any field of study at the University of Washington who have a vested interest in working people’s issues and/or labor organizing. Students from any one of the UW's three campuses (Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma) are eligible to participate. 

We encourage students of all backgrounds and identities to apply, and are committed to supporting undocumented students at the UW. We are additionally committed to working with partner organizations that reflect and serve a variety of communities in the Greater Seattle Area, and hope to connect students with organizations that best align with their personal and academic interests and investments.



What Will the Internship Look Like? 

The internship is both a paid opportunity as well as a source of academic credit. We hope to work with partner organizations to determine the weekly number of hours that students will be expected to work remotely, that allows for integration into daily operations, community building and capacity to run individual projects that further the organization’s goals. Students will be compensated at a pay rate of $18 per hour, including a weekly 2 hour meeting with other BAM interns and mentors.  

In their accompanying coursework, students will be expected to reflect on their experiences with their mentors and peers, and how their work with partner organizations aligns with their own academic and personal interests and goals.



Hybrid In-Person and Remote Work and Learning 

As we continue to collectively experience the realities of COVID-19 in our daily lives, we hope to co-create an environment of flexibility, understanding, and commitment to communication and relationship building with students and community partners. Much of the work between students and their host-organizations will be a mix of in-person and remote work.

Because communication is one of the biggest adjustments to a remote work environment, we will work with students and community partners to ensure that student interns have access to all the technology (software, hardware, internet) to allow them to be successful in their work, and ask that host-organizations prepare and set clear and specific expectations for what projects, work, and learning their student interns will engage in over the course of the program.

During the first week of the program, students will also write out their learning goals and expectations for the program, which will be shared with their cohort and host organizations, and reflected on throughout the program with their mentor and supervisor, to allow for intentional alignment as the internship progresses. 



Why Should Students Participate?

  • Develop and demonstrate important professional and leadership skills
  • Have an opportunity to connect with the labor movement 
  • Build knowledge on the types of opportunities that are available for folks interested in pursuing a career in labor, and potentially seek to continue working for a community partner after their internship ends
  • Gain firsthand experience around what organizing in labor and social justice movements involves, and a broader sense of the history of labor organizing
  • Learn about and engage with organizing efforts across the Greater Seattle Area and create virtual spaces to discuss how all these efforts can and do align with the broader labor movement. 
  • Earn a stipend/wages for their work



Why Should Your Organization Participate?

  • Have UW students aid them in their daily operations and programs/campaigns
  • Publicize their resources to students and other community groups 
  • Interface with other community organizations, including the Bridges Center
  • Have students complete projects that help to further the goals of the organization
  • Learn and engage with other organizations and the work they are doing
  • Receive feedback from students about their experiences. Share and process ideas together about continuing to connect with communities and other organizations and pushing our social movements forward together
  • Placement: Some community partners may have the capacity to provide intensive supervision, others may desire students that can work mostly independently
  • Educate and provide experience to a future cohort of organizers, activists and workers