The JKR Foundation – in partnership with Bard College’s Human Rights Project – will be sponsoring summer internships again in 2018 for Bard College students. Selected students will work with Non Governmental Organizations (and other groups) that have a mission to combat hate. (There is a possibility that internships in 2019 may be available for students from other colleges and universities as well. Check back in early 2019.)
Students enrolled in Bard College, Bard College of Simon’s Rock, and Bard-affiliated colleges abroad will be eligible to apply. Application information is available here. Completed forms, or inquiries, should be directed to Danielle Riou, Associate Director of Bard’s Human Rights Project, at email@example.com. The application deadline is March 26, 2018. The maximum stipend will be $3,000.
Selected students will:
Participate in a multi-day seminar at Bard College on May 4 and May 5, 2018, with students required to lead discussions based on text study of assigned scholarly and other materials about hate in general and specific manifestations of hatred (antisemitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.).
Agree to be mentored by the executive director of JKR and staff of HRP.
Work with an NGO or other organization selected by or agreed to by the JKR Foundation and Bard’s HRP. Whatever work the organization gives to the student must be related to hatred.
The other half of the student’s work will be researching and writing a substantial analysis of what the NGO’s presumptions about hate are, the research they rely on (if any), what other type of scholarship would be helpful to them, how and why they think what they are doing is effective, etc.
Over the summer the students must post twice weekly on a closed Google group, about what they are learning about hate and ways to combat it.
At the end of the summer the students will write a 15-20 page analysis of how the group with which they worked understood hate and its approach to the problem. They will also publish a shorter opinion piece about hate for either a local or school newspaper (alternatively, they might be interviewed by a local paper, write something about their experience for a blog, etc.). Additionally, they will participate in a program at Bard in October 2018 (those from Bard institutions abroad will participate by video-link), sharing what they have learned with the Bard community, and with students who might be interested in applying for 2019 internships.
Afterwards the fellows will be required to stay connected to the project and to each other via a listserv and occasional conference calls. This way they will not only help those who come after them, they – as professionals who may be focused on one type of hate (e.g. anti-immigrant) – would know many people working on other forms (e.g. antisemitism).
In 2017, four Bard students participated in the program:
MAIS HRISCH worked with PEN America. PEN America “stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide.” In recent years, and particularly during and following the 2016 Presidential campaign, writers and journalists have been threatened online with harassing, vile, racist and threatening “trolls.” LGBTQ, women and Jewish journalists have been especially targeted. Mais helped research and write a manual for journalists, on what to do when they are victimized by hateful trolls. Mais’ paper about the summer’s work and how PEN America understands hate is here.
KATHERINE HOOPER worked with the Montana Human Rights Network. MHRN has been the main organization working against hate from the far right in Montana for decades (even pre-dating the militia movement). Recently, it led the efforts to confront not only anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ efforts, but also rallied to the defense of the Jewish community in Western Montana, that had been threatened by neo-Nazis who put their personal information (including that of children) online, and promised to march against them, armed. The JKR Foundation worked closely with MHRN to oppose the Nazis, and also conducted a board training session for MHRN about antisemitism in June. Katherine helped with research projects about the far-right, working on both background reports and strategies. Katherine’s paper about the summer’s work and how MHRN understands hate is here.
NICHOLAS BADER worked with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. CHRO’s mission is “to eliminate discrimination through civil and human rights law enforcement and to establish equal opportunity and justice for all persons within the state through advocacy and education.” Nick worked out of two regional offices, doing “intake,” meaning he was the first point of contact with people who allege they have been the victim of hate and/or discrimination. He also helped organize a major initiative to train school superintendents on how better to oppose discrimination in schools. Nicholas’ paper about this summer’s work, and how CHRO approaches hate, is here.
ERIN GIFFORD worked with Political Research Associates. PRA, for over three decades, has produced information about how to understand and combat hateful political movements, particularly far-right white supremacists. Most recently, PRA published an important piece about antisemitism written by longtime JKR Foundation friend Eric Ward. Erin helped research and produce new PRA publications. Erin’s paper about the summer’s work and how PRA thinks about hate is here.