PICS Organization Name
Make the Road New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Kate Reed '19, Michael Asparrin '19
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 600 immigrant members have successfully fought for earned sick leave policies, municipal IDs that guarantee access to identification for all residents, regardless of immigration status, and sanctuary city policies across Union County and beyond. 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 5,000 immigrants to know their rights. We provide legal services, ESL classes and youth development and organizing programs.
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.
Spanish fluency and commitment to social justice a must.
Students should be comfortable working in a fast paced community center.
Willingness to work hard in a grassroots setting and having an attitude of respect towards our working class, immigrant grassroots base is essential.
Expected Start Time
Expected End Time
No earlier than May 30 - no later than August 23
Meets Certificate Requirement
We occasionally have events, marches and legal clinics on the weekends and evenings.
We are a train ride away from Princeton and NYC. There is also affordable housing in Elizabeth, NJ.
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