Internship center

CAIR-Houston, the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is currently offering 8 new internship opportunities. CAIR is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization. The organization's mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. Internships at CAIR-Houston offer students and activists a great opportunity to learn, interact, and grow in a friendly and diverse environment.

Fall 2008 Internship Opportunities at CAIR-Houston

All internships are unpaid, last one semester, and include a 15-hour/week commitment. Applicants should email a resume and cover letter to internships@cairhouston.org.

APPLICATION GUIDELINES:
Clearly indicate which department you are applying for in your cover letter. If you are applying for more than one position, please list in order of preference. Typically, each intern is trained in two departments and given projects from both to provide a well-rounded experience. All Fall applications are due by August 22nd. If you have any questions, please email all inquiries to internships@cairhouston.org. Students interested in receiving class credit, should indicate so in their cover letters. Credit will be arranged during the first week of the academic semester.

If you have any questions about the internships please email internships@cairhouston.org or call the office at (713) 838-2247.

CIVIL RIGHTS DEPARTMENT

Our Civil Rights Department handles cases that range from prejudiced gestures to full blown discrimination. Our clients are Muslims as well as non-Muslims who have had Islam imputed upon them.

The projects below are just a sampling of what interns may work on:

Citizenship Delay project - seeks to address the lengthy delays Muslims are facing in applying for citizenship

Police Misconduct project - addresses incidents where police officers have discriminated or used excessive force against Muslims.

Prison project - secures the rights of Muslim inmates to practice their religion freely, and ensures that inmates are treated humanely.

Airport Profiling project - helps Muslims who have been discriminated against at airports.

Employment Discrimination project - helps Muslims discriminated against based on religion at the workplace.

The Civil Rights Intern will work closely with the Civil Rights Coordinator on resolving cases of discrimination reported to CAIR-Houston.

Essential duties and responsibilities include the following (other duties may be assigned):

o Assist in documenting incidents of religious discrimination by counseling and interviewing complainants regarding their incidents
o Research laws and policies on employment, student conduct, and immigration procedures, as well as criminal offenses and other areas as seen fit.
o Assist in maintaining the Civil Rights Online Center
o Updating databases containing information about abuses reported to CAIR-Houston.

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COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

Our Communications Department monitors the local media closely and flags coverage of issues relating to Islam and Muslims. The department also holds Press Conferences and issues press releases, media advisories, and story pitches in order to ensure that Muslim perspectives on pressing issues and current events are represented in the mainstream media.

The Communications Intern will work closely with the Director of CAIR-Houston and CAIR-National in Washington, D.C. on various projects.

In addition to creating press releases and editorials below are just a sampling of projects which interns may work on:

Media Response Project - work closely with CAIR-Houston's Media Watch Team to co-ordinate responses to deconstruct sensational and biased coverage of issues pertinent to Muslims and Islam. The purpose is to flag such pieces, to highlight their inaccuracies, and to offer thoughtful analyses that diffuse misconceptions.

Journalist Training - work with journalists throughout Texas and Louisiana to build relationships and present an accurate image of Islam through workshops and meetings.

Hate Site Response - intern will assist in managing CAIR-Houston's Hate Site Response Team and research website's in the United States which propagate hate against Islam outside of the first amendment in order to shut them down.

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GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT

Our Governmental Relations Department seeks to organize, mobilize, and empower Houston's Muslim community with long-term civic participation. Its educational initiatives help community members understand the political system and utilize it to work for their issues. Projects include voter registration drives, community workshops, "know your rights" educational campaigns, and training sessions at mosques and community centers on how to contact and engage local and national politicians. The department also systematically works to educate local political representatives about their Muslim constituents while ultimately engaging these representatives with the Muslim community's unique issues and concerns.

Interns will work closely with the Director of CAIR-Houston and the Governmental Affairs Director of CAIR-National with projects and/or daily tasks within the scope of CAIR-Houston's organizational needs.

The projects below are just a sampling of what interns may work on:

Voter Registration and Mobilization - the concentration of this project is to register Muslims as voters through strategic planning and developing a comprehensive strategy to recruit volunteers for political campaigns.

Voter Education - intern will work with the local office as well as CAIR-National to develop creative educational material for the Muslim community and manage email and letter writing campaigns.

Policy Research - intern will work with the local office as well as CAIR-National to develop CAIR-Houston's position on all relevant legislation and policies.

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OUTREACH DEPARTMENT

The Outreach Department seeks to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with local and national institutions. It also works to foster an understanding between Houston's Muslim and non-Muslim communities via educational collaborations.

The projects below are just a sampling of what interns may work on:

Islam 101/Church Project - intern will work closely with the Director on this new initiative which seeks to build bridges of dialogue and understanding between the Muslim community and other Houston religious communities and social clubs.

Public Education - intern will work closely with the civil rights department to organize various events throughout the state which assist in educating Muslims in areas relevant to CAIR-Houston's scope of operations (i.e. legal, civil, and governmental seminars).

Muslims CARE - intern will work closely with the Outreach Coordinator on managing the Muslims Care project: a national initiative which promotes volunteerism.

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