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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Civic Engagement and Coalition Building Fellowship

The National Leadership Program: Civic Engagement and Coalition Building Fellowship

A key tenant in civic engagement and coalition building is, as Sen. Cory Booker says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to get far, go together.” For decades, people with disabilities working together have advanced major legislation to improve their lives. The Americans With Disabilities Act is a key example of how different groups came together to enact change through civic engagement and coalition building to change or enact a key piece of legislation. The disability rights movement led to the ADA, but still there are laws and regulations in place that prevent the full integration of people with disabilities in society. This Fellowship will provide the key tools to learn how to use civic engagement practices and coalition building tools to enact change at the state and local level.

Self Advocacy Panelists at the 2019 RespectAbility Summit smile together behind a table with RespectAbility's logo on it

Self Advocacy Panelists at the 2019 RespectAbility Capitol Hill Summit

RespectAbility works with key leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors to fight stigmas and expand opportunities for all people with disabilities. We will work on a three-state strategy – California, Washington, and Texas – to convene advocacy groups and decision-makers to educate them on issues that impact people with disabilities in their respective states, and provide recommendations based on best practices.

Civic Engagement and Coalition Building Fellows support the work of RespectAbility’s Advocacy, Policy and Civic Engagement Manager in order to advance our policy agenda and to achieve our organizational goals. Fellows will work to recruit and convene constituents and advocacy groups to come together and address or create pieces of legislation to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities. These coalitions will work together on advancing legislative and regulatory changes to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Who We Want

The National Leadership Program is ideal for people who want to gain skills and contacts while making a positive difference for people with disabilities. The Fellowship is for college and graduate students (with an interest in pursuing a career in government or public policy) as well as for people transitioning into the workforce for the first time, or back into the workforce after a break.

Fellowship Duties

The Fellows will work closely with the Manager of Advocacy Policy and Civic Engagement. Individual projects will be assigned based on an individual’s unique skill set and their own ability to “bring something to the table.”

Projects might include researching legislation when preparing summaries, doing outreach to potential coalition members be they individuals or organizations, doing research on Washington and Texas’ legislative processes, together with the manager start building relationships with key committee members and legislators to advance our policy and advocacy goals.

Important Details for Applicants

  • Excellent communication and organizational skills are strongly preferred, and Fellows should exhibit leadership skills to complete their own projects.
  • Strong preference for college seniors and above.
  • Commitment for a minimum of nine weeks.
  • Hours are 9-5. Virtual Fellows are required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week though more is appreciated and more hours per week is preferred.
  • There is no tuition cost to do the Fellowship, and stipend Fellows will be awarded $300 a month.
  • Your cover letter must explain why this Fellowship in particular is of interest to you and why you believe you have the skills, focus and independent drive to make a positive difference in your time with us at RespectAbility.

EXPECTATIONS

  • A minimum commitment of 20 hours per week.
  • Participation in staff meetings three days per week.
  • Attendance in weekly speaker series.
  • Work with the National Leadership Program Director on advancing your career goals. This will include strengthening your resume, cover letter and building your professional network.

HOW TO APPLY

Fill out the form below and send your resume and cover letter to Ben Spangenberg at BenS@RespectAbility.org to apply for any of our National Leadership Program opportunities!



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