[act-ma] DART Center paid internships (deadline 1/1/08)
Susanna Maria Porte
susannaporte at excite.com
Mon Oct 29 14:19:21 PDT 2007
The Direct Action & Research Training (DART) Center is currently accepting resumes
from those interested in social and economic justice issues for their paid, four-month
community organizing training program known as the DART Organizers Institute.
The application deadline for this program is January 1, 2008.
The DART Center has built non-partisan community organizations throughout the
country that have won important improvements on a broad set of issues affecting
low-moderate income people including:
. Education reform in low-performing public schools
. Job Training
. Drugs and Violence
. Affordable Housing
. Criminal Recidivism
. Neighborhood Revitalization, etc.
The DART Organizers Institute starts June 17, 2008 and combines a 7-day classroom
with 15-week field training. Organizer Trainees will learn such things as:
. Entering a community
. Identifying and training local leaders
. Strategic planning and issue cutting
. Relationship and community building
. Direct Action on community issues
This is a paid training program designed to promote successful graduates into
permanent salaried positions making up to $35,000/year in starting salaries,
plus benefits. Graduates from the DART Organizers Institute have gone onto accept
Executive Director and Associate Community Organizing positions throughout the
country. We continue to train the best of those working to build the power of
low-moderate income neighborhoods to win victories on important issues in their
To understand what graduates of the DART Organizers Institute have accomplished,
please take a moment and read through a few examples:
1. Jeff Modzelewski finished his undergraduate degree in 2004 at Capital University
in Columbus, Ohio. After working for two years in the business world, he then
was accepted into the DART Organizers Institute. Eight months after Jeff's paid
community organizing training, he organized over 750 community leaders in Columbus,
Ohio to reign in payday lending operations that prey upon the most vulnerable
by charging exorbitant fees and interest on short-term loans. As a result, State
Senator Miller introduced statewide legislation that will equitably regulate
the rampant misuse of payday lending. With the momentum of the State Senator's
commitment, Jeff and coalition leaders are now building a statewide power base
to ensure passage of this legislation.
2. Leah Woodward finished her masters in film in 2005 at University of Florida
in Gainesville, Florida and then graduated from the Organizers Institute in 2005.
She then accepted a job with the FAST organization in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Using the training provided, Leah and another organizer mobilized 1,800 people
from 28 congregations to take action on affordable housing. As a result of this
action, County Commissioners agreed to create a $10 million dollar housing trust
fund that will set public monies aside for building housing that low- to moderate-income
families can afford. In addition, the commission unanimously approved a mandatory
inclusionary zoning ordinance that will compel builders to include affordable
units in their developments for years to come.
3. Andy Lee graduated from Michigan State University and went into the DART Organizers
Institute in 2004 and was hired onto staff with the BUILD organization in Lexington,
Kentucky. Andy organized with local leaders to create a drug recovery program
in the women's jail in 2006. During an in-depth research phase facilitated by
Andy, leaders discovered that over 80% of the jail population in Fayette County
are there for problems related to drugs and alcohol, and with treatment the re-arrest
rate drops from 66% to 19%. While a drug recovery program existed in the jail
for men there was no program for women. After initially denying any consideration
of BUILD's plan to add the needed $175,000 to the city's annual budget for the
program, the mayor eventually agreed to do so after being confronted by 1,010
people from 20 congregations all pressing for the program at a community action
on March 20, 2006. Two months later the Urban County Council made it official
by approving the Mayor's budget, and later that summer,the drug recovery program
in the women's jail opened. The program is expected to save millions of dollars
in tax money previously spent on re-arrests, while also demonstrably improving
the lives of thousands of women who would have continued wrestling with drug
addiction and crime. Andy is now the Executive Director of another community
organization in Broward County, Florida known as BOLD Justice.
4. Virginia Lynch finished her undergraduate degree at Emory University with
a degree in religious studies and then entered the DART Organizers Institute
in 2004. Following training she accepted a position on staff with the PEACE organization
in Lakeland, Florida. Using the training provided by DART, Virginia led an organizing
drive that mobilized over 800 community leaders to publicly call for action on
health care related issues. As a result of her work, the organization won the
approval of a permanent half cent sales tax that will provide over $35 million
dollars annually to fund one new health clinic a year for the next five years
and increase indigent patients seen from the current 2,000 to 45,000 patients
per year. Virginia is now the Executive Director of a the RISC organization in
While these are clear-cut victories with measurable results, they are only snapshots
in time depicting the work of three of the graduates of our training program.
Along with over 30 others, Andy, Leah, Jeff, and Virginia continue to organize
and regularly express a long-term commitment to the field. To apply, please
send an updated resume to: Ben MacConnell, the Recruitment Director at: institute at thedartcenter.org
before January 1, 2008. You can also call him with questions: (785) 841-2680.
To find out more about the DART center, check out our website: www.thedartcenter.org.
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