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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 now open for the Building a Movement (BAM) Labor Internship for spring quarter 2021.


Click Here to Access the On-Line Application
for Spring 2021 BAM Labor Internship
(UW Net ID/Google Account Required)


The deadline to apply is Monday, March 22, 2021 at NOON (12:00PM PST). Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the beginning of spring quarter on Monday, March 29.


Application Instructions

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

  • Seattle COVID-19 Oral History Project (open only to current Oral History Project interns)
    • The Seattle COVID-19 Oral History Project (SCOHP) is sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and aims to collect the oral histories of workers from marginalized racial and ethnic groups who have been impacted by COVID-19. The project covers Seattle and also Western Washington. The goal is to create an oral history archive accessible to students, researchers, and members of the general community. SCOHP is looking for 8-12 Oral History Interns who will receive training in oral history methodology from the Labor Archives of Washington (LAW). All duties and responsibilities will be conducted remotely.
  • Massage Parlor Outreach Program (MPOP) / API Chaya
    • API Chaya empowers survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking to gain safety, connection, and wellness.  We build power by educating and mobilizing South Asian, Asian, Pacific Islander, and all immigrant communities to end exploitation, creating a world where all people can heal and thrive.

      This specific internship will support the Massage Parlor Outreach Project (MPOP) with outreach, research, and advocacy. MPOP works in the realms of culture, support systems, migrant connection, and healthy working environments to uplift sex worker and labor rights of massage parlor workers. Significant projects include: Outreach, Advocacy, and Content Development.

      MPOP is a grassroots community effort that adapts constantly to local events, shifting needs, and fluctuating resources. Leadership tends to change project by project as well, so there will be opportunities for the intern to coordinate and run the project. We work with a flexible nature and have a wide scope of projects that will allow the intern to tailor their time according to their skills and interests. However, we may adjust and re-prioritize projects along the way. MPOP also offers both a strategic and on-the-ground experience with organizing. Because outreach is an important aspect of our work, the intern should be comfortable initiating conversations, building rapport, and fostering connections. Outreach is typically done in pairs. Our work is closely tied to immigrant rights and worker’s rights, so we recommend coursework in Labor Studies, Gender Studies, Public Health, or Social Work. 

      Strong preference for bilingual (Mandarin & English) speakers.

  • UNITE HERE Local 8
    • UNITE HERE Local 8 is the labor union of hospitality workers: hotels, restaurants, food service, and
      airport concessions. Our members are room cleaners, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, food and beverage, servers, bussers, and dishwashers. Prior to the start of the pandemic, we represented over 7,000 workers in Oregon and Washington State. We have a diverse membership, comprising workers from many immigrant communities as well as high percentages of African-American, Latino, and Asian-American workers. The majority of UNITE HERE members are women. Through organizing, UNITE HERE members are aiming to transform thousands of traditionally low-wage jobs into good, family-sustaining, middle class jobs. For more information visit www.unitehere.org and https://www.facebook.com/Local8.

      The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our industry. A vast majority of our membership was laid off and are still laid off for an indefinite amount of time. In response, we created a worker assistance hotline. Workers need help now connecting to resources like unemployment benefits, relief funds, and food assistance. Our Union is also helping people find new jobs through our Hiring Assistance Program, hosting trainings focused on writing a resume and job interview skills. In addition, we are fighting for
      health and safety on the job, job security and recall rights, and building power so hospitality workers won’t be left out of the economic recovery. The internship work could include any and all of the above programs.

  • UW United Students Against Sweatshops
    • United Students Against Sweatshop (USAS) is an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist, student-led labor-solidarity organization. We partner with both workers and communities to leverage student power toward local and international campaigns that promote, support, and develop economic justice and workers' rights.

In submitting the on-line application, a student will be 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 is 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 $17 per hour, including a weekly 1 hour virtual 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.



COVID-19 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.

Aside from weekly virtual check-ins in which students will build relationships with their graduate student mentor and fellow interns, we expect that some of the students’ working hours will be oriented around virtual check-ins and community-building within their host organizations as well. 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