Internships

The CAIR internship and externship program

As an organization, we believe that the best way to secure a better future for all of us is to empower young Americans with the skills they need to make a difference. There is no better teacher than experience. Interns at CAIR's national headquarters work with leaders on substantive projects that lay the foundation for a fair and more inclusive America. They develop professional skills, gain insight into the societal impact of public service, and have the opportunity to work with different departments so they might holistically understand the daily operations of a non-profit civil rights organization.

Why join CAIR?

CAIR has a wide array of projects and activities to suit your level of expertise and will empower you to make a difference! Opportunities are available throughout the year for all students to apply--full-time or part-time, undergraduate or graduate, all majors, and even high school students. Interns can earn academic credit or community service hours, or simply enrich their experience and insight to advocacy and civil rights efforts.

We offer internships in the following departments: civil rights, government affairs, Islamophobia watch, local outreach, development/fundraising, events, and IT.

Application guidelines

A complete application must include all of the following:

  1. An application form, signed and dated with all spaces completed with the most updated information and truthful responses.
  2. A cover letter that specifies the position and session (i.e., winter-spring, summer, or fall) you're applying for, as well as your interests and qualifications. Applicants must clearly indicate which internship position they are applying for in the cover letter. Applications that do not state this information may not be processed.
  3. A resume that lists your most relevant and updated profile and contact information; and
  4. Samples of your work. Departments may require you to submit at least one of the following samples:
    • Writing sample: This could be a drafted legal document, press release, blog, or previously submitted essay or writing assignment you've written that reflects civil rights and advocacy issues as they pertains to CAIR scope. If none of the above are available, an original essay will also be considered. [maximum length: 5 pages; if longer, please select an excerpt].
    • Portfolio (for graphic design applicants): a display of completed works displaying skills, interests and unique creative perspective.

Note: All your documents should be submitted electronically via email to [email protected] and not sent by postal mail. This helps us save paper.

All interns are subject to the applicable CAIR employee rules. All interns are subject to a criminal background check. All internships are unpaid.

Academic credit and community service hours

Interns may receive academic credit or community service hours if arrangements are made between CAIR and the intern's school. It is the student's responsibility to research the requirements, work with the supervising director to tailor the internship, and ensure that appropriate forms are completed if they wish to receive academic credits from their respective institutions.

Timeline and minimum expectations

CAIR's internship and externship program is open throughout the year, offering a variety of specialties to cultivate young professionals and activists. Considering high school and college academic calendars, each sessison generally runs between the following months, though this may be adjusted depending on your availability:

  • Winter/spring: January - May (Suggested deadline: December 15)
  • Summer: May - September (Suggested deadline: April 15)
  • Fall: September - December (Suggested deadline: August 15)

Due to the high volume of applicants, it is recommended that you send in your application as soon as possible.

Selection process

Applicants should be contacted within five (5) business days of sending their complete applications. If an applicant is identified as a viable candidate for the program, an interview is scheduled. Candidates may be asked for additional documents to complement their applications prior to their interview.

Scheduling requirements

Internships are offered throughout the year, and can be arranged to accommodate academic schedules based on the student's availability. Summer interns typically work a full-time schedule -- Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break. Internships are approximately 10 weeks long but can be longer depending on the intern's availability. Part-time interns are expected to come in between 1-3 days a week. Please include your availability in your cover letter.

Individuals who are selected but are available to complete less than the required hours stated above will be invited to join CAIR's volunteer network. Please email [email protected] for more information on how you can get involved as a volunteer.

Questions or concerns

For general inquiries, email or call Lauren Schreiber, CAIR outreach manager, at [email protected] or 202-742-6454.

 


Internships

 For law clerkships at CAIR chapters in other parts of the country, please check this listing.


Law Clerk

Responsibilities:

Law clerks handle a wide variety of work. Most of this work falls under two categories: (1) intake and case management of individual clients who have been the victims of religious discrimination and (2) research assistance on pending litigation.

(1) Case management: Law clerks take shifts handling the intake line for civil rights complaints. Interns are responsible for handling individual cases and performing advocacy short of litigation. For example, interns will work with victims of discrimination to draft letters and EEOC complaints.

(2) Research assistance: Law clerks write legal memos on topics connected to CAIR's pending civil rights litigation. For example, topics may include religious discrimination by law enforcement and the terror watchlist statutory regime. Interns will discuss their research with staff attorneys to help develop creative approaches to litigation.

Qualifications:

  • Strong legal research and writing skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and phone skills.
  • Interest in civil rights work and issues affecting the American Muslim community.
  • Preference given to students who have taken constitutional law, administrative law, and federal courts.
  • All law students are welcome to apply; preference is given to 2Ls and 3Ls.
  • Preference given to students who can devote 20 hours a week.

 


Islamophobia Watch Intern

The Islamophobia watch intern will work closely with the Islamophobia watch director on monitoring and developing strategies to defeat Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination.

Responsibilities:

  • Assisting in documenting manifestations of Islamophobia and the individuals and groups which promote anti-Muslim bias.
  • Assisting in preparing reports on the impact of Islamophobia on American society and freedoms.
  • Updating databases and fact sheets containing information about the Islamophobia movement.
  • Other office duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks.
  • Possesses excellent research, reasoning and written communication skills.

 


IT Intern

The IT intern will assist the national IT director with providing regular support to staff at the national headquarters in Washington, D.C. This person will be responsible for monitoring and managing help desk activities and providing high-level customer service.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist with technical support issues on software, applications, PCs, printers, and LAN support.
  • Assist IT director on installation of softwares.
  • Update computers with Windows updates, anti-virus and other software.
  • Minor trouble-shooting of networking, including PCs not printing on network printers.
  • Communicate with staff and manager effectively.
  • Promote a collaborative atmosphere.
  • Perform other related duties as required/directed by supervisor.

Qualifications:

  • Demonstrate dependability and accountability for all duties.
  • Undergraduate, Microsoft certifications preferred.
  • Must have a minimum of two years of experience providing help desk support.
  • Must be proficient with Microsoft Windows and Office products.
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication; customer services; and telephone skills.
  • Must be able to interact with management, technical staff, and users.
  • Must be an excellent team player.
  • Experience in any of the following areas; administering Active Directory, Office 365, Microsoft Office suite, Outlook email/calendaring, Microsoft Windows 7 workstations, TCP/IP are a plus.

Special Projects Intern

The special projects intern will assist with the Explore the Quran and the Friends Asking Friends fundraising projects. 

Responsibilities:

  • Assisting in fulfillment of orders for both projects.
  • Creating and adding to mailing lists for projects.
  • Conducting regular outreach work with masjids, chapters and interfaith groups to promote the Quran project.
  • Promoting the Quran project locally by having tables at local jummah prayers and other events.
  • Helping to create a Ramadan campaign highlighting the Quran project.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks.
  • Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Committed to serving the community.
  • Ability to lift at least 40 pounds.

 


Community Organizing Intern

The national community organizing intern will work closely with the director of chapter development and CAIR's 30 chapters to refine and implement community training programs to fully empower the American Muslim community. They will focus on youth trainings organized by CAIR's chapters such as Muslim Youth Leadership Programs (MYLP) or Muslim Youth Leadership Symposiums (MYLS). Essential duties and responsibilities include the following (other duties may be assigned):

Responsibilities:

  • Researching best practices for youth trainings and community organizing.
  • Assisting in developing a procedural manual for youth leadership or community development trainings.
  • Establishing strong relationships with CAIR staff across the country.
  • Participating in planning and holding online training session.

Qualifications:

  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Experience independently managing projects
  • Excellent interpersonal and technical communication skills
  • Has a demonstrated commitment to serving the community

 


Outreach Intern

The intern will work closely with the outreach coordinator to facilitate successful operations of the outreach operations.

Responsibilities:

  • Organizing "Muslims Care" service projects in the local area (one project per month)
  • Establishing and maintaining solid relationships with the local community via Muslim schools, mosques, MSAs and Muslim organizations
  • Establishing and maintaining appropriate relationship with local organizations that overlap with CAIR's scope of mission
  • Working with other CAIR departments on establishing and maintaining appropriate relationships with local governmental institutions;
  • Maintaining a comprehensive database of local outreach activities
  • Other office duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Friendly, outgoing and self-motivated
  • Strong organizational and multi-tasking skills
  • Excellent critical thinking and visual skills
  • Demonstrate the ability to follow through the various on-going and newly assigned tasks
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Is able to work well under pressure

 


Government Affairs Intern

The government affairs intern will work closely with the government affairs coordinator to fulfill government relations, communications and administrative functions. CAIR's expanding government affairs department coordinates nationwide advocacy work on issues of public policy. Former CAIR interns and staff have gone on to accept jobs with members of Congress and in the White House.

Responsibilities:

  • Assisting the department in following legislation
  • Helping with activities on Capitol Hill pertaining to issues facing Muslims
  • Supporting programs and activities of the department
  • Assisting in database management
  • Assisting in coalition building with other Muslim or civil rights organizations
  • Other office duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks
  • Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Committed to serving the community.

 


Graphic Design Intern

Responsibilities:

  • Developing webpage, publication, brochure, poster, multimedia, illustration, logo and exhibit designs for both web and print media.
  • Working with a wide client base of CAIR chapters across the United States
  • Managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Developing design skills.
  • Other office duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Proficiency in design software such as Photoshop; InDesign; Illustrator; Quark
  • Knowledge in information architecture; color and typology principles; corporate identity, package and advertising design.

 


In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goal of diversity, CAIR is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on any legally recognized basis including, but not limited to race, age color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.