The NAACP is in search of highly qualified and motivated individuals to serve as interns and fellows at our national headquarters in Baltimore, MD. These individuals will conduct sophisticated legislative and public policy research on some of the most pressing civil rights and social justice challenges facing our nation. Although the W. E. B. Du Bois Internship/Fellowship Program is unpaid, we will offer each student an academically rigorous program as well as a priceless opportunity for high-level experience in civil rights activism. This work is high stakes, fast paced, and demanding.
Project assignments will touch upon all aspects of our social justice advocacy agenda, including but not limited to civil rights issues, criminal justice, economic development, education, environmental justice, health policy, international affairs, labor, voting rights, and youth engagement. Successful candidates should have a record of outstanding academic achievement, commitment to social justice, and the ability to manage complex projects.
How to Apply
Each term is 2 to 3 months with a flexible start date to accommodate college schedules. The actual dates of your internship will be discussed during the interview process and will be determined by your availability, as well as your supervisor’s schedule.
Email your resume, cover letter, transcript, writing sample, and letter of recommendation to email@example.com.
The terms are loosely defined below:
- Winter term – Late December through early February
- Spring term – January through May
- Summer term – June through July
Dennis Ojogho, Harvard University Class of 2016
“The right place at the right time—in a nutshell, this is how I would describe my Director’s Internship at the NAACP’s National Headquarters in Baltimore. This summer, I have had the great honor of working for the most storied civil rights organization in the United States at a time when this country is confronting racism, and the problems it has produced, in a way that I have never before seen in my lifetime. On top of that, I am helping to tackle these important issues while living in Baltimore, where a young black man’s mysterious death while in police custody led to the most significant series of anti-police brutality protests we have witnessed since another young black male was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last summer.
Every day at the NAACP, I truly feel like a valued member of the team, which is something that cannot be said for all internship experiences. Rather than fetching coffee or making copies, my daily responsibilities at the NAACP include researching cutting edge community development practices, aiding President Cornell William Brooks with his speeches, and helping to organize and attend rallies. I stood behind President Brooks as he announced, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a historic march from Selma to Washington, D.C. that the NAACP will be leading later this summer. I sat beside leaders in labor rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental justice, and immigration on a bus ride from Washington, D.C. to Roanoke, VA to see this amazing coalition of organizations unite at a rally to advocate for voting rights. I hesitate to call this an internship because at times, I feel like I am engaged in work that is far above what an internship implies.
The people I have had the pleasure of working with at the NAACP have done an exceptional job of integrating me into the important work that they have been engaged in—some staff members having worked at this same organization for over 50 years. It is that dedication that allows the NAACP to continue carrying out its century-old mission to help make the United States a place where justice and equality ring true for all. I have had the opportunity to not only see this work be done first-hand, but also have a part in advancing that mission. This is an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
Ron Young, Berea College Class of 2018
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the NAACP. It was a true time of exposure and examination, of the current issues that face people of color. This opportunity put academics into action, and incorporated our life experiences into our work life. There are not many other internships that would have provided the opportunity to interact with issues that affect people of color in such a direct and connected way. It was truly an experience of a lifetime, which has not only molded my thinking, but has edged my career path.
I had the privilege to work on several projects while at the NAACP. Some of them included working on promotional material for events and workshops that occurred during the national convention, along with flyers and informational material that was used for HIV prevention and Day of Unity promotions, as part of the HIV and Black Church Initiative.”
Eni Popoola, Harvard University Class of 2017
“My time as a WEB Du Bois Intern at the NAACP has been one filled with learning, reflection, and excitement. Over the course of eight weeks, I became familiar with the inner workings of the communications department and had the privilege of researching social covenant bonds, all while learning more about the history and mission of the NAACP. From the first few days as an intern and experiencing spirit day, I knew that I would fall in love with the warm atmosphere at the NAACP.
Within the communications department […], I was able to sit in on phone calls with President Brooks regarding publicity and press releases, and I was even tasked with drafting talking points and briefing memos for a number of his speaking engagements.
Attending [the NAACP Annual] Convention was one of the highlights of my summer and of my college experience overall. It definitely left me motivated to embark on my senior year of college with the goal of seeking a position that would truly allow me to make change. I have no doubt that I was also able to strengthen my research and writing skills while working in the communications department. If I ever have the opportunity to return to the NAACP in the near or distant future, I am certain that I will. It has been a pleasure to become a part of the NAACP family this summer.”
Eric Herbert, Johns Hopkins University Class of 2018
“There is no doubt in my mind that working at the NAACP has been the most interesting and eye-opening summer of my life. A year ago I never would have pictured myself working at the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the US. However, I can wholeheartedly say that it has been a surreal experience and one that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
Magdalene Zier, Harvard University Class of 2016
“I spent my four years at Harvard studying the history of the NAACP. To me, it was that storied, stoic, and sometimes staid organization that loomed large on the pages of history books: America’s first grassroots civil rights organization, the leader of the anti-lynching crusade, and the force behind many of the 20th century’s most critical court victories.
And then I began my W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship and had the privilege of coming to know the NAACP first-hand as the dynamic leader of 21st century advocacy that it has become. Often, in my work for the executive and communications departments, my historical knowledge came in handy: crafting a press release on the anniversary of the March on Washington or prepping President Brooks on the longstanding Jewish contribution to the civil rights effort. Other times, I was challenged to think in terms of present and future: researching new methods for the economic development of communities of color or tweeting about the presidential debates.
In all, I am so thankful to have been able to join the NAACP’s remarkable, welcoming national team as a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow.