Internships

2018 Summer Internships

Background

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®. PolicyLink collaborates with a broad range of partners to implement strategies to ensure that everyone — including those from low-income communities of color — can contribute to and benefit from economic growth and prosperity.

PolicyLink operates a summer internship program for continuing graduate students (master's or doctoral) in public policy, urban planning, and related fields. Internships are paid and the duration is generally 10 weeks. PolicyLink occasionally hosts interns during the academic year, depending on project needs and student interest.

We strive to provide each intern with two main opportunities: 1) a meaningful and challenging assignment (or set of assignments) that provides a chance to apply and hone the skills they are learning in graduate school to influence public policy; and 2) the opportunity to learn about the process of policy change and the way that PolicyLink accomplishes our mission of advancing economic, social, and racial equity through policy change.

Each intern plays an integral role in helping our organization further policy impact through research, communications, capacity building, and advocacy. We have had interns from nearly 20 different universities and colleges, in programs such as urban planning, public policy, public health, community development, information management, and journalism/communications.

Interns gain insight into the field by assuming responsibility for a project under the guidance of experienced professionals. This year, internship positions are only based in our Oakland office.

Application Process

PolicyLink is accepting applications for summer 2018 internships. The deadline for applications is March 2, 2018. Review the PolicyLink website (www.policylink.org) to learn more about our work. The internship program starts June 4 and runs through August 10, with exceptions for extenuating circumstances. 

Candidates may apply for up to two internship opportunities. Separate applications should be sent for each position and the candidate should indicate if they have applied for two positions in their cover letter.

Applicants should submit a résumé, cover letter, and a list of three professional references to internships@policylink.org.

Please include in subject line: Your Name – Specific Internship Name.

We encourage you to submit the application components in a single document if possible (rather than three separate files) so we can print double-sided and save paper.

Interviews will take place during the month of March. Applicants will be contacted by telephone to schedule an interview that will take place in person or over the telephone.

Please note: Only candidates selected for an interview will be notified.

PolicyLink is committed to building and maintaining a diverse staff and a welcoming workplace.

 

All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network Research Intern (Oakland, CA)

Position

PolicyLink is seeking a continuing graduate student intern to provide research support for the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network. Launching in early 2018, this network will be made up of city staff, local electeds, and community partners from up to 10 cities around the country who are committed to addressing the displacement challenges facing low-income renters and people of color in their communities. We are currently recruiting cities for this network, which will launch this spring.

Assignments may include:

  • Research on a range of approaches, policy best practices, and place-based examples related to anti-displacement strategies for renters, low-income homeowners, local businesses, and cultural and religious institutions to inform city strategies.
  • Background research on anti-displacement efforts of cities participating in the network.
  • Research and writing about anti-displacement reports, academic research, and efforts to contribute resources for the broader field.

Desired qualifications and skills:

  • Continuing graduate student in urban planning, public policy, or related field.
  • Commitment to economic and social equity.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Quantitative and qualitative research experience and strong analytical skills.
  • Good team player.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative.

Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development Intern – 2018 (Oakland, CA)

Position

The Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development (ACED) Intern will have an integral role in supporting PolicyLink to advance equitable development by working with our communications and capacity-building efforts.  PolicyLink is seeking a graduate student who can provide program management, documentation, and research support to a learning community cohort of arts and culture organizations leading equitable policy change efforts in six places around the country. In addition, the graduate student intern will provide communications support to the overarching arts, culture, and equitable development area of work at PolicyLink.

The ACED Intern will work on the following task:

  • Supporting arts, culture, and equitable development policy change efforts in the Mission District of San Francisco, in Oakland, CA, and in Pittsburgh, PA. This task includes program management, documentation, and research with and for three organizations and/or collaboratives with which PolicyLink is currently partnering to advance specific policy change efforts.

The core team at PolicyLink in arts, culture, and equitable development includes program, research, and communications staff with expertise and experience in considering arts and culture as essential tools in addressing such community needs as community safety, infrastructure, education, and health. The intern will work out of the PolicyLink office in Oakland. The Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development Intern will be supervised by the Senior Fellow for Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development who will provide direction and guidance. The position may involve some travel.

Desired qualifications and skills:

  • Graduate student in fine arts, arts administration/management, design, urban planning, public policy, nonprofit management, cultural geography, or other areas related to arts, culture, and/or creative place-making.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • The ability to organize and communicate interview feedback.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Great team player with experience working effectively with diverse stakeholders; comfort working with team meeting in multiple locations.
  • Strong and effective interpersonal skills.
  • Strong sense of humility and willingness to seek ongoing feedback for improvement.
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative.
  • Strong commitment to advancing social and racial justice and appreciation of community-based work experience in low-income, communities of color, as demonstrated through a portfolio of art, community, or other types of projects.

Financial Security and Criminal Justice Intern

Position

Many people are charged onerous fines and fees to pay for the activities of local courts and police. These fees are disproportionately imposed on low-income people and people of color, and often serve as a debt trap, keeping them under surveillance and in an endless cycle of financial hardship. PolicyLink seeks a highly-motivated intern skilled in research and data analysis to conduct research on the impact of criminal justice fines and fees on low-income people and people of color in California and the intersection of household financial security and criminal justice involvement. Specifically, this intern will work jointly with the Equitable Economy and California Policy teams, as well as external partners to research warrants issued in California for unpaid fines and fees. 

Assignments will include:

  • Research on fines and fees in California and nationwide. 
  • Analysis of data related to warrants issued in California. 
  • Research on the racial wealth gap and the economic security of low-income people and people of color.
  • Planning and preparing briefing materials for both internal and external presentations and meetings with strategic partners.  
  • General research related to criminal justice policy.
  • Written products may include internal research memos, case studies, and policy inventories. 

Desired qualifications and skills:

Internship positions are open to graduate students in economics, criminal justice policy, urban planning, public policy, business administration, or related fields, with an interest in multi-field policy approaches to improving financial security for low-income people and communities of color.

Specific qualifications include:

  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research, as well as the ability to organize, analyze, and communicate research findings for advocates and policymakers. 
  • Interest or experience in policies related to wealth inequality, financial security, and criminal justice.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Commitment to, and strong grasp of economic and social equity.
  • Background in communications, social media, and messaging a plus.
  • Good team player.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.

National Equity Atlas Intern (Oakland, CA)

Position

PolicyLink is seeking a continuing graduate student intern to provide research support on the National Equity Atlas, a comprehensive online data resource to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth in America's cities, regions, states, and nationwide. The Atlas, produced through a formal partnership with the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), a research institute based at the University of Southern California, contains data on demographic change, indicators of racial and economic inclusion, and the economic benefits of equity for the 150 largest regions, 100 largest cities, all 50 states, and the United States as a whole. The intern will help the team continue to build out this living resource and connect it to on-the-ground change efforts.

Assignments will include:

  • Integrating the policy recommendations in the National Equity Atlas with those highlighted in the recently released All-In Cities Toolkit.
  • Developing short comparative analyses of how cities and regions perform on various indicators of health equity or inclusive prosperity.
  • Researching new indicators and data displays for the National Equity Atlas and local atlas pilot projects.
  • Contributing research and analysis to tailored equitable growth profiles of specific regions.

Desired qualifications and skills:

  • Continuing graduate student in urban planning, public policy, sociology, public health, economics, journalism, or related field.
  • Commitment to economic and social equity and experience working with low-income communities of color.
  • Experience with data analysis and quantitative research including basic statistics.
  • Passionate about making data relevant and actionable, able to write about data and develop user-friendly data displays for non-experts.
  • GIS proficiency is desired but not mandatory.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative.

Fair Housing Intern – Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (Oakland, CA)

Position

PolicyLink is seeking a continuing graduate student to provide research support to its Grassroots Leaders: Advancing Racial Equity in Government Planning project.  This project will focus on building the capacity of grassroots leaders and city and regional governments to promote the use of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH) as well as tools to influence local planning processes. This effort is fostering the next generation of fair-housing policies and strategies at a time when the federal government is back-pedaling and slashing civil rights policies and enforcement. PolicyLink provides capacity-building support in the form of data, analytical and policy tools, and coaching for grassroots leaders and coalitions, and staff of city and regional governments, to help meet the mandate to provide fair-housing choices and access to opportunity for all. (See a description of this effort on the PolicyLink website at affirmatively furthering fair housing.)

Assignments will include:

  • Review 2016 and 2017 AFFH efforts for robust examples of data analysis, public participation, goals and strategies, and consolidated plan implementation.
  • Develop an interview protocol and conduct interviews with stakeholders conducting AFFH-guided processes.
  • Research and document best practices in statewide housing campaigns, specifically, the implementation of AFFH law.
  • Update previous research on tools and strategies as needed based on new examples, evidence, or other outcomes or changes.
  • Outline development and writing about the reviews, research, and interviews to inform a next generation of fair housing brief.

Desired qualifications and skills:

  • Continuing graduate student in, public policy, public administration, public affairs, urban planning, or related field.
  • Commitment to economic and social equity.
  • Interest in civil rights law and fair and affordable housing.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Research experience and strong analytical skills.  
  • Good team player.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative.