Make the Road New Jersey

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PICS Organization Name
Make the Road New Jersey

City/State
Elizabeth, New Jersey 

Organization Description

Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant and working class communities to achieve dignity and respect through community organizing, legal services, adult and youth education and policy innovation. Founded in late 2014 in Elizabeth, Make the Road New Jersey's 1000 immigrant members have successfully fought for earned sick leave policies, municipal IDs that guarantee access to identification for all residents, regardless of immigration status, financial aid for Dreamers, driver's licenses for all, and occupational licenses for all. In the wake of President Trump's executive orders on immigration, MRNJ, along with allies, organized a mass rally at Newark International Airport and a 1,000 person march on Elizabeth Detention Center and has helped to train more than 10,000 immigrants to know their rights. We provide legal services, ESL classes and youth development and organizing programs.

Internship Description

Based on their interest, interns may work assisting MRNJ's members and community organizers in outreach and in developing workshops and activities for our immigrant and workers' rights campaigns or may help to teach ESOL and citizenship classes, or may assist attorneys in immigration or workers’ rights cases. Interns will also learn to conduct Know Your Rights trainings for Make the Road New Jersey’s immigrant membership base. Students who are interested in supporting the leadership of working class immigrants and who are comfortable in a fast paced environment should apply. Students will have the opportunity to learn about community organizing first hand, support community based legal service provision and have lots of contact with community members in our bustling community center.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$450 10 11:00 am 7:00 pm No Yes No Yes

Internship Qualifications

Spanish fluency and commitment to social justice a must.

Students should be comfortable working in a fast paced community center.

Former Interns
Chris Lugo '22, Kenneth Gonzalez Santibanez '22

Evaluation Excerpt

My best work experience this summer was connecting with the few workers I reached out to who were willing to engage in longer and more in-depth conversations about their workplace conditions and possible means of addressing them, especially in the context of the pandemic. It was both devastating to hear their stories of hardship and rewarding to brainstorm with them the means of reclaiming their agency in the workplace. -- Christopher Lugo '22

Every single one of my tasks over this summer had the common end of helping the community battle against the injustices that are levied against them every day. My resolution to help the common man in his fight against those who would like to see him fail has only been strengthened by my experiences at MRNJ. --Kenneth Gonzalez Santibanez '22

I think Make the Road is the epitome of the organizational goals that PICS sets out. The very essence of the organization is to create systemic social and political change, and it's one of the most successful non-profits that I have personally seen. Though it has a small staff, Make the Road was able to reach out to Senators, Mayors, and other political stakeholders, in addition to getting well known media outlets to cover their events. Make the Road involved me in all of its actions and allowed me to learn firsthand just what systemic change looks like.
—Michael Asparrin '19

The most rewarding experience I had this summer was getting to know the community that forms MRNJ’s membership. Through the ESL program I ran and weekly meetings with leaders and members, as well as plenty of marches, protests, and phonathons, I was able to get to know many of the immigrants and allies that make up MRNJ. —Kate Reed '19