Summer 2017 Civil Rights Internship

The Equal Rights Center
Washington, DC
Mar 01, 2017
Apr 01, 2017
Full Time

Summer 2017 Accessibility & Civil Rights Internship

Reports to: Director of Accessibility Rights & occasionally to Manager for Strategic Initiatives

Internship Focus: Support the ERC's Accessibility Rights Programs

Ideal for: Sophomore, Juniors, Seniors and Grad Students interested and passionate about Civil Rights or those with particular focus or past experience in disability and/or accessibility issues.

Organizational Overview:

With over 30 years of experience, the Equal Rights (ERC) Center is a Washington, DC based non-profit that investigates and remediates acts of discrimination. We promote equal opportunities nationally in employment, housing, government services and public accommodations for all protected classes. The ERC accomplishes our efforts through education, research, testing, enforcement, advocacy and partnerships.

Internship Overview:

The Accessibility Rights Intern will be providing support primarily to the Accessibility Rights Program, and in some instances to the Strategic Initiatives Program. These programs are at the forefront of addressing discrimination in public accommodations. To address these barriers, they both conduct education and outreach, individual and systemic investigations, and advocate on behalf of their members and others who have experienced discrimination. We are seeking an intern to assist both of these programs in achieving their goals and continuing our efforts.

The internship runs from Tuesday, May 30th 2017 through Friday, August 4th 2017. This is a paid internship. Interns will be paid DC minimum wage by the hour. Students are expected to be available for a maximum of 10 weeks, part time (exactly 30 hours per week). Based on the chosen candidate's availability, a schedule will be assigned from the following times: 10-4 or 11-5 Monday through Friday.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Conducting intakes: receiving phone calls from people who have experienced discrimination and discussing their options for remediation
  • Assisting with testing related responsibilities as requested
  • Conducting research for reports and investigations
  • Acting as civil rights testers
  • Assisting with data entry
  • Answering phone calls, assisting with filing, completing other duties as assigned
  • Assisting in writing and/or editing blogs

What you will gain:

  • Demonstrated experience in working with senior leaders in the successful development and implementation of civil rights investigations.
  • Basic understanding of civil rights testing.
  • Content and relevant professional experience to include in your portfolio post-graduation
  • Experience working in a non-profit environment and learning from seasoned managers and strategists.
  • Ability to navigate and position from various viewpoints and communication styles.
  • Knowledge of civil rights issues and legislations, especially as it relates to disability, and accessibility.

Experience & Education Required:

  • Educational background AND interest in civil rights, social justice and advocacy issues.
  • Currently pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in any social science (i.e. history, sociology, psychology, politics, etc.).
  • Sensitivity toward cultural, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity.
  • Demonstrated passion or interest in disability and fair housing issues.
  • Ability to work well independently as well as part of a team.
  • Ability to work in a constantly changing environment.
  • Ability to exercise flexibility, initiative, and good judgment.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Good organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work accurately and meet deadlines with frequent interruptions.
  • Skilled in various Microsoft Office products.
  • Integrity, respect, and discretion in handling confidential information.
  • Detailed-oriented.
  • Skilled in navigating the Internet for research purposes.

Experience & Education Preferred:

  • Prior experience working or interning for social advocacy groups particularly related to civil rights issues with accessibility/disability issues being a plus
  • Second language a plus.
  • Prior experience conducting intakes or receiving calls from people experience discrimination.
  • Prior experience or knowledge of civil rights testing.
  • Prior knowledge of the ADA and/or FH Act.

For more information about the Equal Rights Center please visit

Application Instructions:

To submit an application, please send via email: (1) a cover letter describing your interest in our work and (2) your resume.

All materials must be emailed to, to the attention of Diego Rivera, Operations Coordinator. Subject line: Accessibility Rights Internship application of (your name).

Application Deadline: Open until filled.

Due to the high volume of applicants, we may not be able to respond to everyone. Qualified candidates will be contacted for interviews on a rolling basis.

The Equal Rights Center is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Equal Rights Center is a barrier, drugs and smoke free workplace.

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