Immigrant Detention Visitation Intern

About Grassroots Leadership

Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation and criminalization are things of the past.

We believe that no one should be detained or deported, and that human connection and organizing has the power to challenge the immigration and criminal justice systems. Advocacy should be lead by those most directly impacted by systems of injustice, as they are the ones most knowledgeable about the issues, impacted by the decisions, and most qualified to lead.

Skills/Background/Qualifications

Grassroots Leadership is seeking a dedicated, passionate individual to join our team in a 10-15 hr/wk unpaid Immigrant Detention Visitation internship. The ideal candidate will have personal or family history with detention and/or deportation, be bilingual English/Spanish, foreign born or from an immigrant family, and a person of color, all of which are representative of the communities most impacted by unjust immigration policies.

Additional qualifications include:

  • Excellent written communication and listening skills in both English and Spanish-- able to speak clearly and write expressively
  • Able to work in a fast paced environment and respond quickly to changing priorities
  • Highly organized
  • Strong critical thinking skills, with the confidence/ability to question analytically
  • Cross culturally responsive showing ability to work with a wide variety of individuals from various backgrounds, including immigrant, faith-based, and student populations
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well within a team
  • Ability to process highly sensitive information shared around violence experienced and sexual-based trauma
  • Kindness, flexibility, and sense of humor - we’re a small, family-like organization that values community
  • Knowledge of MS Office, Google Docs and Gmail, and database systems strongly desired

Internship Responsibilities

Primary internship responsibilities would be to support training, engagement, and advocacy with community volunteers visiting asylum-seeking women detained at the Hutto Detention Center outside Austin, TX. The vast majority of women detained are from Central America, most escaping persecution at the hands of gangs, traffickers, and abusers. Our program trains community volunteers to visit with the women one-on-one for the duration of their stays, with the goals of 1) ending the isolation of detention, 2) monitoring human rights abuses and 3) creating advocates for detention reform. Core internship responsibilities include:

  • Developing continuing development trainings around exposing injustice and lifting voice through multi-media, to include but not limited to blog posts, film vinets, photography, and other earned media
  • Assisting with volunteer recruitment within Student, faith-based, and spanish dominant communities
  • Preparation and co-facilitation of new volunteer orientations, including separate orientations conducted in English and in Spanish
  • Leading volunteers on group visits to the Hutto Detention Center
  • Resource Sharing with volunteers
  • Participation in organizing activities.

To Apply

Please send resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Sofia Casini, Immigration Programs Coordinator, at scasini@grassrootsleadership.org by Friday, January 27th.