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Princeton University's Center For African American Studies Launches Civic Internship Program

The Center for African American Studies at Princeton University will
launch a summer internship program to further research in race and
public policy, allowing Princeton students to work with national
organizations to confront issues of disparity in urban education.

Up to four Princeton students will be selected to apply their knowledge
of African American studies while interning this summer at one of two
nonprofit organizations that promote urban educational initiatives. The
students are expected to participate in eight-week internships in June
and July 2010, working with the Young People's Project in Jackson,
Miss., or with the Making Waves Education Program in Richmond, Calif.

"Our partnership with the Making Waves Education Program and the Young
People's Project reflects our commitment to offering our students an
education that speaks directly to social problems that haunt American
life," said Eddie Glaude, chair of the Center for African American
Studies and Princeton's William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African
American Studies. "These internships are our unique take on Princeton's
informal motto of being 'in the nation's service and in the service of
all nations.'"

This is the first internship program supported by the Center for African
American Studies, which was established in September 2006 after existing
as an academic certificate program at Princeton for 37 years. 

The internships are designed to build upon coursework by providing
students with opportunities to conduct original research that will help
develop knowledge aimed at solving significant social problems. Students
also are expected to further their internship experience after returning
to campus, such as using the research as a basis for their junior papers
or senior theses. 

"Not only do we expect our students to possess competencies in African
American studies - to know the relevant literatures of our field - we
also aim to provide a set of skills that enable them to apply their
knowledge to the problems, like urban education, that frustrate the
dreams and ambitions of our fellow citizens," Glaude said. 

Founded in 1996, the Young People's Project is an outgrowth of a
national mathematics literacy effort, the Algebra Project, that promotes
math skills in low-income students and students of color. YPP aims to
use math literacy as a tool to develop young leaders and organizers who
radically change the quality of education and life in their communities
so that all children have the opportunity to reach their full human
potential. Princeton students selected to intern for YPP will collect
data and assist political organizers in their work of empowering
communities around the issue of urban education. In addition to Jackson,
Miss., YPP has established sites in Chicago, Boston and Cambridge,
Mass., and is developing additional sites across the country. 

The Making Waves Education Program, founded in 1989, helps make college
acceptance, attendance and graduation a reality for students from
economically depressed communities in San Francisco and Richmond, Calif.
The tutoring and teaching program also provides support services such as
nutrition education, college counseling, cultural excursions and field
trips, and mental health services. Princeton students selected to intern
for Making Waves will cull through more than 20 years worth of data to
help determine how the organization has been successful in educating
students who had previously been considered as being unable to achieve
academically. According to Making Waves, 99 percent of their
participants graduate from high school and 95 percent go on to college.

The Center for African American Studies has launched an aggressive
effort to become the leading resource for the public's understanding for
race in America, including engaging in more research and taking
advantage of new avenues to broaden discussion of issues of race.

The new internship program will be managed by the Pace Center, the
University's central resource for civic engagement, which supports
high-quality public service internships that have been arranged
specifically for Princeton students.

Princeton students may start submitting applications for the internship
program on Monday, Nov. 30, when further details and an online
application will be made available on the Pace Center website at Applications will be due Monday, Jan. 25, and
interns will be selected in early March. All Princeton students are
eligible to apply, though preference will be given to concentrators in
the Center for African American Studies and/or to students with the
specific research skills required for the two internship programs.

Students who are interested in more information about the internship
program or who would like to apply should contact Elsie Sheidler,
associate director of the Pace Center, at or
(609) 258-7783.

Contact: Noliwe Rooks,
associate director of the Center for African American Studies, at or (609) 258-4718.


STORY TAGS: princeton university, african, american, studies, civic, internship, program, black, minority, news


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