Democracy Summer is an innovative internship program that exposes young leaders to new ideas and political movements, teaching them how to organize people around a shared vision for a better democracy in our state. The program also equips young people with lifelong skills that they can use to work for positive social change in their communities. 2021 will be a crucial year for advocacy around redistricting and solidifying the pandemic-related elections reforms we won in 2020.
Every summer, Democracy NC — a nonpartisan organization that seeks to increase voter participation — hires undergraduate students from NC community colleges, colleges, and universities to work as paid student organizers for nine weeks under the guidance of an experienced Democracy NC organizer. Students work in organizing teams of two in concurrence with our organizing regions for the state. However, with the pandemic still going on, this internship will be remote and mostly digital.
Student organizers work full-time (including some evenings and weekends) from late May to late July and earn a (taxable) stipend of $3,700 for the summer.
This is a full-time job, so students taking summer classes or have other, part-time work cannot realistically participate in the program.
“I want to thank Democracy NC because I see how much I've grown as a leader and an organizer, & I'm proud of myself for stepping out from behind the scenes to fight for what's right.” –Khalil J. Cobb, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Democracy Summer starts with a mandatory training retreat. Then, student organizers work digitally in their region organizing for social change. They interact with civic leaders and veteran activists, meet elected officials, experience working with the media, and gain an insider’s view of the political climate, legislative process, and power structure in North Carolina.
Democracy Summer is ideal for students interested in a career in public service, politics, a non-profit field, or community-based work. All rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in NC community colleges, colleges, and universities are eligible to apply. Because student organizers are responsible for covering their own housing, most participants apply to work in cities where they have family or other living arrangements available. The ideal applicant will have:
“When I moved to America from Mexico, I wanted to empower the Latinx community, who feel like their voices aren't important. It is my turn to make my new home just, diverse, and of equal opportunity to everyone. Democracy NC gave me the skills to get started.” –Veronica Fonseca, Central Piedmont Community College