African American Historic Places Internship

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Washington, DC
Mar 16, 2017
Apr 01, 2017
Full Time


The intern will provide support for existing National Treasures advocacy projects as well as help to identify and research potential future projects. National Treasures are uniquely important historic places where the National Trust for Historic Preservation is playing a role to help fight threats of demolition, neglect, lack of funding, or insensitive development, or that offer an opportunity to demonstrate a best practice in preservation or adaptive re-use. Specifically, the intern's work will be related to several of the National Trust's prominent African American themed Treasures, including the A.G. Gaston Motel and the Howard University Library. Additionally, the intern will build on the work done by previous interns by helping to expand a database and mapping project of African American historic sites and related advocacy organizations. The intern will have the opportunity to conduct research, contribute to developing advocacy plans and outreach themes, and craft blogs and other materials in support of the Trust's advocacy efforts on these Treasures.

National Trust internships are temporary, volunteer experiential learning opportunities with no expectation of employment at the conclusion of the internship.

For this internship, the National Trust is offering a stipend of $2,000 to help offset expenses. Dates of the summer internship program are June 5 - July 28, but may be flexible for this project.


  • By conducting research and attending stakeholder meetings, assist the Senior Field Officer of the DC Field Office in identifying themes and advocacy strategies for the Gaston Motel, Howard University Founders Library, and another African American themed National Treasure (pending announcement).
  • Work with the Editorial and Outreach staff to help research and draft blog posts, articles or other materials that help document and promote the Trust's work around these Treasures.
  • Continue the work of previous interns to expand a national database and GIS mapping project of African American historic places and related organizations. Work will include researching a list of sites via the web and/or National Archives and other primary or secondary sources, confirming location and contact information, entering data into the database and helping to map the information.
  • Using this and other data or leads, research other sites for potential nomination as new National Treasures, documenting their history, significance, status, impending threats, advocacy needs and potential solutions and partners.


The intern will gain experience under the mentorship of respected preservation professionals, in an educational setting at one of the nation's leading arts & cultural and non-profit advocacy organizations. The intern will also have the opportunity to participate in educational programming offered via the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Washington Office internship program. Students may also be eligible for college or graduate school academic credit at the discretion of their institution.

Specifically, the intern will gain knowledge in the following areas:

  • Research & documentation of historic places using primary and secondary sources
  • Non-profit advocacy, outreach and engagement methods
  • Themes central to preserving African American historic places in particular

At the end of the project the intern will have produced an expanded African American places database and drafts or final versions of articles, blog post or other outreach materials which can be added to their professional portfolio in support of their future career pursuits.


  • Some experience in research and documentation of historic places preferred, with interest in/familiarity with African American history a plus.
  • Strong writing and editing skills, especially with some experience in writing for outreach, public engagement and social media.
  • Basic analytical and problem solving skills, including issue identification and prioritization. Basic project-organization skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to collaborate and achieve results with supervision, including ability to interact professionally with key internal and external stakeholders as needed.
  • Strong organizational skills required, with ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently, and meet deadlines in a timely fashion
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment
  • Friendly and professional demeanor on the phone and in writing, with ability to speak and write clearly in English. Bi-lingual language skills a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with culturally diverse colleagues; connections to or experience helping to engage culturally diverse audiences and partners, especially African American communities, a plus.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products required, including Outlook, Word and Excel.
  • Bachelor's level studies (or equivalent years of experience) required; current or rising juniors, seniors or graduate students preferred. Studies or demonstrated interest in related subject matter preferred, including African American history, preservation or architecture.
  • Regular and reliable attendance required.

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