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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 OPEN. The deadline to submit the Spring 2024 BAM Internship application is Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 11:59PM. Please click this link to be taken to the online application.

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): 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 State Rainbow Coalition History Project: Perhaps best known for organizing Black activist Jesse Jackson's surprising 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns, the Rainbow Coalition was a nationwide group that advanced a variety of different causes for social justice. In Washington state, the organization brought together veteran organizers from a wide variety of communities across the state, playing an important role in both labor organizing (such as the decade long struggle to unionize farm workers at Chateau St. Michelle wineries) and electoral campaigns, among many other issues.
  • Workers United is progressive and dynamic labor organization, shaped by our predecessor unions and leadership who are relentless in their pursuit for social and economic justice for all workers. We represent the aspirations and needs of our members, and work to empower our members to become leaders in their workplaces and communities as well. Starbucks Workers United (SBWU) is organized by and for Starbucks workers fighting for greater justice, greater equality, and protection in the workplace. The SBWU organizing committee includes Starbucks workers from across the United States. 
  • Tacoma For All is a volunteer-led organization dedicated to improving the lives of working class families. Most recently Tacoma For All won a ballot initiative in Tacoma passing the most progressive tenant protections in Washington State. The organization is likely to bring a "Worker's Bill of Rights" in 2025 in coalition with the labor movement. (This position is available to UW Tacoma students only)
  • La Resistencia is a grassroots non-profit community organization led by undocumented (and former undocumented) organizers who work directly with detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. Their aim is to pursue efforts to close the detention center and see to end all detentions and deportations in Washington State. 

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 2024. 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 Soohyung Hur, Graduate Staff Assistant for the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at hursh@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 $20 per hour, including a weekly 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.



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