Texas After Violence Project
Call for Spring 2017 Interns!
The Texas After Violence Project (TAVP) is currently accepting applications for part-time internships for college and graduate students for the Fall 2016 semester.
TAVP is a human rights and restorative justice project that studies the effects of murder and the death penalty on individuals, families, and communities. Our mission is to build a digital oral history archive that serves as a resource for community dialogue and public policy to promote alternative, nonviolent ways to prevent and respond to violence.
TAVP is not an advocacy organization. Rather, we seek to serve as a resource for our communities and to contribute to ongoing conversations about the effects of interpersonal and state violence, criminal justice processes, long-term incarceration, and the death penalty, by listening empathetically to people with diverse experiences and perspectives, documenting their stories, creating archives and other curated projects, and opening new spaces for transformative public dialogues. For more information about TAVP, please visit our website at www.texasafterviolence.org.
Our office is located on South Congress Avenue, a few blocks from several eclectic shops, restaurants, galleries, and music venues, and a short walk to Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin. Our office is also easily accessible via public transportation.
Interns will have the opportunity to learn about the effects of violence and trauma on individuals, families, and communities; restorative justice, human rights and needs, violence and public health, and social constructionism; development of digital archives and curated projects; oral history as a method of research and social change; historical, archival, and qualitative research; the inner workings of a small, innovative nonprofit research organization.
Interns will be responsible for completing programmatic projects and administrative tasks, including interview processing (transcription, audit-editing and formatting, audio-video synchronization, metadata creation); updating databases and other organizational materials; representing TAVP at community events; tracking news, current events, new research and developments, and create research memos on issues related to TAVP’s core mission as well as current areas of research, including:
- Relationships between violence, historical trauma, and inter- and trans-generational trauma
- History of the death penalty in Texas and in the South
- Effects of long-term incarceration and the death penalty on prisoners’ families and communities
- Violence, mass incarceration, the death penalty as urgent public health issues
- How criminal justice systems and the death penalty do and do not meet the needs of crime victims and murder victims’ survivors
- The role of narrative, oral history, digital archives, and curated projects in moving public dialogue and public policy debates about violence and punishment toward nonviolent restorative justice solutions that actually meet the needs of families, communities, and those directly impacted by violence.
Depending on interns’ interests and skills, interns may also help staff coordinate outreach with potential narrators, allies, donors, and collaborators, edit and manage audiovisual materials, create content for website and social media, conduct grant research and assist with other development projects, and complete original curated or digital media projects using TAVP’s research and archival materials.
Our work lies at the intersections of law, criminal justice, human rights, social justice, conflict resolution, restorative justice, archives, public history, and digital media. Although TAVP welcomes students from all disciplines and departments, past interns have come from such fields as American Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Education, Ethnic Studies, History, Library and Information Studies, Journalism, Media and Film Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Social Work, Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies.
In general, personal qualities are more important than particular backgrounds or academic skills: responsibility, dependability, sensitivity, ability to listen with empathy and without judgment, a commitment to social justice and equality, and an absolute commitment to respect the confidentiality of people who entrust the project with their life stories. Volunteers and interns must be willing to work collaboratively, and to regularly engage in constructive criticism as a team.
Internships are unpaid. As part of their internships, students generally receive course credit from their college or university. Undergraduate interns are typically expected to work a minimum of 10 hours per week. Graduate interns should check with their advisors about internship or capstone research project requirements.
Finally, please think carefully about what working with the project would mean for you. Spending a lot of time thinking about violence and the death penalty is not for everyone. A potential volunteer or intern should ask herself whether this is the right time in her life to undertake this kind of research, and whether she has the emotional support from friends, family or spiritual community (whatever is relevant to her) as she works with and thinks about violence and tragedy. Self-awareness is key; some people have decided to defer working with us, or to work on a less intense part of the project, after evaluating their own circumstances.
If you are interested in applying for an internship, please send a cover letter and resume to Executive Director Gabriel Solis at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Spring 2017 Internship.” The deadline is December 15.