Internships for Gender and Women's Studies Majors

Women power

An internship allows you to find out what you enjoy (or dislike) about work in a specific field. You will be able to form relationships with professionals in the field who can help connect you to other job opportunities, and you will gain skills that will strengthen your application to other jobs or graduate programs after graduation.

The Gender and Women’s Studies internship course is titled: GEND 400. The choice of your internship site is made by you in consultation with your adviser. Below are options for internship sites to consider.

Internship Sites

AIDS Care Ocean State is dedicated to providing quality housing, case management, medical and nursing care, and prevention to adults, families, adolescents and children who are affected by or at risk for HIV infection. AIDS Care Ocean State will act as an advocate for individuals and families at risk, while providing those support services needed to ensure and maintain a high quality of life for the people we serve. Prospective candidates should spend some time on our website before applying.

Day One, the Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island, deals with issues of sexual assault as a community concern. Its mission is to address the issues of sexual assault and trauma through a comprehensive range of services, including intervention, treatment, education and prevention. Helpline advocates are volunteers that provide support, information, referrals and safety planning to victims at hospitals and police departments throughout Rhode Island. Helpline advocates receive over 30 hours of training that provides skills, knowledge and confidence to enable them to work with victims of all ages. There is a particular need for volunteers who are bilingual and able to work with diverse populations.

The mission of Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island is to empower individuals and families, especially the underserved, immigrants and refugees, to become self-sufficient and fully participating members of the diverse community through innovative programs and advocacy that promote education, training and cultural understanding. Interns play a critical role providing the individual attention the program participants require to succeed. They work as tutors, classroom aides, immigration and citizenship interns and refugee mentors. 

Elizabeth Buffum Chace House provides services for individuals and families affected by domestic abuse, through safe shelter, individual and group counseling, 24-hour crisis hotline, court advocacy, in-school programming and professional training and education. Interns may work as an advocate on the hotline, in the courts, with seniors or on special events. 

Girls Rock! Rhode Island (GRR!) is looking for motivated college interns to support our programming. GRR!’s mission is to help girls and women empower themselves through music. We currently work to support this mission through several activities: our Girls Rock Camp, Ladies Rock Camp, Group Lessons and after-school programming. Girls Rock Camp is offered to campers ages 11-17, who, over five short days, will learn an instrument, join a band, write a song and perform it live in front of an audience, in addition to attending awesome workshops on body image and self-esteem, media literacy, body confidence/performance, band art/merchandising, relational aggression, the history of women in rock and more. Ladies Rock Camp, for adult women, is a fundraiser for and a condensed version of Girls Rock Camp, that occurs over three days. Group Lessons and our after-school programming are extensions of our camp activities throughout the year. Other activities throughout the community will be a part of this work, as well.

The Katie Brown Educational Program (KBEP) is dedicated to the recognition and prevention of relationship violence by teaching skills and information needed to make healthy decisions in relationships. KBEP has developed an innovative and interactive curriculum, taught primarily to youth in classroom-based settings throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They have internships in administrative, community engagement, digital media and education.

Learning for Life (L4L) navigators are a team of peer mentors and advocates who join with the students served through L4L, called L4L scholars, to assist them in successfully completing college. The navigator position at L4L is a great junior- or senior-year internship placement for students across many majors. Students studying social work, education, youth development, gender and women’s studies or other human service-related fields might benefit from serving as an L4L navigator. Navigators will have a week-long orientation, giving them all the necessary information and skills on how to be successful in this role. Navigators will learn how to help other students navigate campus, link to needed resources and overcome obstacles to their success at RIC. This internship will teach students many different skills that can be transferrable to many careers and future endeavors, such as professional ethics, confidentiality and informed consent, interpersonal communication, record-keeping, team-building and meeting planning and facilitation.

Navigators are given a tuition stipend for working 10 hours a week each semester. Additionally, navigators have weekly supervision with an L4L staff member, bi-weekly group support and monthly staff meetings.

Elements of the L4L model, including the navigators, are supported by the work of Mechur Karp (2011). She conducted a meta-analysis of 128 sources to develop practical ways by which to employ prevailing models, including Tinto’s. She found the essential elements of nonacademic support to ally with academic bolsters: (1) improving college know-how; (2) making attending college feasible; (3) connecting students to campus and social networks; and (4) clarifying future goals. O’Keefe (2013) found that “access points on campus…where the student is able to seek help” are critical for first generation students. Similarly, Brittenham, et al. (2003) documented the value of peer mentors in developmental education. 

Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island affords high-quality and confidential family planning services, as well as reproductive health care and counseling and education to women and men of all ages. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England is looking for college students with an interest and passion to advocate for reproductive justice and access to reproductive health care through its Campus Action Internship program. Campus Action is the college internship program for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England that trains students from colleges across Rhode Island and Connecticut how to be effective advocates for reproductive justice on their campuses. Interns attend monthly trainings or activities where they will learn about reproductive justice and other social justice issues and how to advocate and organize around those issues. Interns are then responsible for planning and organizing events or activities to advocate for and educate students about reproductive justice. 

Project Weber/RENEW provides a full range of harm reduction, recovery and basic needs services to men and women, including the transgender community. The organization is engaged in street outreach and assists with substance abuse counseling, housing and health-care referrals, food and shelter needs and community resources.  

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is dedicated to ending domestic violence. It supports and enhances the work of its six member agencies and provides leadership on the issue of domestic violence. RICADV also strives to create justice for victims and create awareness on the issue of domestic violence in RI. Internships are in communications and policy or alongside staff on initiatives and programs designed to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence. 

RI Jobs with Justice is a coalition of labor, community, faith-based and student groups taking concrete action to build power for poor and working-class people. The organization works to re-establish justice in the workplace, while promoting social, racial and economic justice. Jobs with Justice caters internships to the interests of students and works to identify skills that students want to develop, such as public speaking, grassroots communication and social media, meeting facilitation, fundraising, cyber activism, community service and more. 

RI NOW seeks interns to assist us in work throughout the year. From January to May/June, interns focus on researching policy issues, tracking legislation, drafting testimony and assisting RI NOW in engaging citizens in the legislative process. During the summer and fall, interns assist the organization with its education and outreach efforts. And, in election years, interns have the opportunity to support the electoral work of the RI NOW PAC. 

Ideal candidates have an interest in women’s and civil rights issues (though prior experience is not necessary) and a willingness to learn about how they can make a difference through education, outreach and policy. Interns must be well-organized, detail-oriented, a quick study and able to work independently as well as collaboratively. Excellent writing and editing skills are desired and access to a personal computer is essential. 

Sojourner House is an advocacy and resource center for victims of domestic violence in Rhode Island. It recognizes that a “vision of one day living in a world with the fear and threat of domestic/intimate partner violence cannot exist without the support and dedication of a strong volunteer base.” Internship opportunities include direct support to clients, organization development projects and assisting staff in the many agency programs. 

WE LEARN (Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network) promotes women’s literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment and equity for women. The organization understands, defines and takes action to create meaningful responses and proactive programming to address access and equity for women’s literacy and basic education. It addresses the learning differences and needs important to women’s success in literacy services and understands how the gender-specific stresses on women’s lives affect their success and ability to progress socially, economically and politically. 

The Women's Center of Rhode Island is dedicated to ending interpersonal violence. It seeks to empower thorough culturally competent programs that provide safety, shelter and court advocacy to victims of domestic violence. It works collaboratively to prevent the occurrence of violence and to educate the community about the dynamics of violence. The Center provides a comprehensive range of services that include residential, transitional and community-based programs that provide opportunities for personal transformation. Internship activities include work on the hotline, with children’s enrichment programs, community education, men’s initiative and outreach. 

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island invests in women and girls through research, advocacy and strategic partnerships designed to eliminate gender inequity in our state. The organization envisions a community, nation and world that is free of gender bias and where social justice exists for all. Through internships and volunteer opportunities available year-round, we place students based on the skills they would like to develop, such as policy advocacy, research, communications and fund development. 

The mission of Youth Pride Inc. is to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth and their allies through empowering programs of support, education, organizing and advocacy, while working to change the homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic environments in which they live. Internships at Youth Pride vary greatly depending on each student's interests/field of study and the needs of the organization. Interns have been engaged in planning and presenting workshops on a variety of topics (healthy relationships, yoga, LGBT history and gender stereotypes), greeting and socializing with youth in our drop-in center, administrative support and planning and implementing special events.