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Special Project Intern: Faith Engagement & Policy

The Southern Center for Human Rights is working for equality, dignity, and justice for people impacted by the criminal legal system in the Deep South. SCHR fights for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice.

Over our forty-five-year history, SCHR has forced county, state, and federal governments to make significant improvements in prisons and jails to reduce overcrowding, provide adequate medical and mental health care, and abate violence and abuse. We have argued and won five death penalty cases at the United States Supreme Court, four of which challenged profound race discrimination in capital trials. Our combined litigation and policy advocacy helped bring about the creation of a statewide public defender system in Georgia. Our advocacy has advanced significant decarceration reforms in the Georgia General Assembly. Today, SCHR embraces multifaceted strategies in its fight for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice.  For more information about SCHR, visit

The Special Project Intern will offer support to the National Policy Strategist in the development and formation of the Faith Leaders of Color Coalition project. This coalition extends the access of capital punishment policy information and justice reform movement-building strategies to national faith communities of color.

The ideal candidate will be a graduate student pursuing political science, sociology, urban affairs, public administration, policy, theology, divinity, or seminary study and hold a sincere dedication to uprooting anti-Black racism and working to advance SCHR’s commitment to antiracism.

Expectations include:

  • Research faith engagement in social justice movements
  • Data entry and management
  • One on ones with national faith leaders
  • Digital advocacy: social media, virtual panels, and other social media ideas to build advocacy community
  • Attend meetings on death penalty repeal strategies
  • Manage tool kit
  • Co-lead quarterly Zoom meetings
  • Locate, obtain, and organize documents for participants and groups
  • Gather statistical data
  • Track death penalty bills nationally

At SCHR, we expect our interns and externs to be committed, work hard, have fun, and learn a great deal. SCHR’s small staff size ensures that all interns and externs receive regular supervision and support.

The Special Project Intern will report directly to SCHR’s National Policy Strategist. Upon completion of assignments, the intern will review their findings with the National Policy Strategist and develop follow-up action plans.

COVID-19 Logistics
SCHR’s office, located in downtown Atlanta, remains closed for business at this time due to COVID-19. We hope to reopen in the early fall of 2021. All staff members are working remotely, though some fieldwork is currently being conducted by staff members who opt-in to participate. SCHR provides PPE for employees and has a safety protocol that staff members must abide by.

Time Frame and Compensation

  • Spring Internship (Part-Time): a ten-week project from January 20, 2022 – April 1, 2022
  • Compensation: $250 per week

To Apply

Please email resume, interest letter, and (2) references to Joia Erin Thornton at [email protected]. No calls, please.

Please apply by November 4, 2021. A decision will be made by December 3, 2021.

The Southern Center for Human Rights is an equal opportunity, affirmative-action employer, which welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, and sexual orientations, as well as those who have been system-involved.