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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 Winter 2024 BAM Internship application is Monday, November 20th, 2023 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:

  • Massage Parlor Outreach Project (MPOP)Massage Parlor Outreach Project is a grassroots formation of Asian/Asian American community members organizing to provide support for migrant Asian massage parlor workers, sex workers, and care workers in the Seattle Chinatown/International District and greater Seattle area. Our goal is to build worker power through organizing and leadership development. We connect workers to local resources, assist with language access, and provide political education and other training to increase community safety and multiracial solidarity, centering those who face the harms of gender-based violence, colonization, and criminalization. (POSITION CLOSED)
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, most of whom are union members, and our allies advancing worker, immigrant and civil rights. Since its founding, APALA has played a unique role in addressing the workplace issues of the AAPI union members and in serving as the bridge between the broader labor movement and the AAPI community.  The Seattle chapter is one of the 35 chapters across the country and over the last few years has grown to be the largest chapter of our organization. 
  • United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4121UAW 4121 is the union of Academic Workers at UW, with Academic Student Employees (ASEs, who are graduate and undergraduate TAs, RAs, graders, & tutors), Postdocs, and Research Scientists A-4 at UW. We are more than 8,000 strong at all three UW campuses. As academic workers, we are critical to the university’s core mission as a center for instruction and research. Over the past 20 years, we have fostered a strong tradition of organizing to advance members’ priorities around working conditions, social impact, and equity, both at UW and in our broader communities. We are a member-driven organization at every level. Our local is committed to continually growing member leadership, empowering fellow members through one-to-one relational organizing, and building mass collective action and community coalition. In addition to organizing to address current problems, we also work to raise expectations about what kind of world is possible and to proactively build a University and community that meaningfully supports the wellbeing of working and oppressed people.
  • UNITE HERE Local 8: UNITE HERE Local 8 is a labor union that represents about 4,000 workers in the hospitality industries of Washington State & Oregon. Local 8 members work in hotels, restaurants, food service, and airport concessions. Our membership is diverse. We are predominantly women and people of color, and we hail from all corners of the planet. We fight for and win living wages, job security, a voice on the job, dignity & respect in the workplace, affordable family health insurance and retirement  benefits paid for by the employer. Together, we are building a movement to enable people of all backgrounds to achieve greater equality and opportunity.
  • PROTEC 17: PROTEC17 is an independent labor union of 10,000+ dedicated public employees working in public health, transit, and other critical services across Washington and Oregon. We work at the City of Seattle, King County, Washington State, and more than a dozen other employers. At PROTEC17, we are a member-powered union inspiring action, advancing equity, and building community. Together, we envision a world free of social, racial, and economic injustice, where all people thrive, living happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

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 Winter 2023. 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 Sai 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 $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