The Office of the Chaplain offers numerous internships, scholarships, and awards.

Our Social Justice Internship Program provides financial support for summer internships dedicated to social justice and systemic change in the United States. We currently fund approximately 15 students to work with designated organizations, focusing on community organizing and activism, housing, public health, immigration law, and community development. Applications are located on Handshake.

Students selected for these internships are eligible to apply for internship funds (up to $5200, or $6,200 for those on financial aid) to support transportation, savings goals, food, and housing costs during the internship. Students from all class years are eligible to apply, including graduating seniors. The program is offered by the Office of the Chaplain in conjunction with the Career Center.

In addition, we support Projects for Peace, a unique student fellowship that awards $10,000 for creative peace related projects. Application information can be found at the link above (note that this is managed differently than the Social Justice Internships).

Each year, we also award the David Maitland—Robert Will Prize, which recognizes a student in their sophomore year for outstanding involvement in their community.

AMOS: A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy

AMOS is a broad-based organization of faith congregations, neighborhood associations, and nonprofits working together to develop citizen leaders, strengthen community institutions, and advocate on the issues important to families. AMOS leaders engage in local politics, building relationships across lines of race, income, citizenship status, geography, and religion in Des Moines and surrounding suburbs, Ames, and rural Polk, Story, and Warren counties.

AMOS has a 25-year track record of success in Central Iowa. Significant victories include a children’s crisis mental health system, initiating Let’s Talk- a restorative justice mediation program in Des Moines Public Schools, leveraging funding for the Lauridsen Skatepark in Des Moines- the country’s largest open-air skatepark, and creating Project IOWA- a workforce intermediary that has trained and placed over 700 formerly impoverished central Iowa residents into career track, living wage jobs. AMOS is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the nation’s oldest and largest community organizing network.

This 8-10 week internship is an opportunity to engage in local politics and learn and practice tools of social change such as 1-1 relational meetings, small group “house meetings”, research actions with power people and issue experts, and learning how to conduct a power analysis. The intern will work with experienced organizers and diverse community leaders on a variety of issue campaigns and strategies.

Common Good Missoula

Common Good Missoula is an affiliate network of IAF Northwest and brings together diverse groups of religious, education, health, labor, and community organizations around shared values: the inherent sacredness of all people -demanding that they be treated with dignity and respect – and the common good. Organizing practices are designed to acknowledge each person’s uniqueness, break down biases and stereotypes, invest in a leadership capacity, and create a relational trust that leads to action addressing the systemic causes of injustice. 

In Missoula, current organizing centers around Indigenous relationships and justice, climate solutions, innovative transportation infrastructure, affordable housing, and sheltering the unhoused. Additionally, a number of Carleton Alumni are active leaders within Common Good and are interested in fostering relationships. 

The internship is designed to provide opportunities for exploring potential careers in community organizing. Interns will learn and practice the basics of IAF organizing; building “power with”; doing relational meetings; conducting power analyses; running effective campaigns, etc. They will be given opportunities to work on local issue campaigns, participate in health equity organizing efforts, and/or support the training and relationship building related to the Wrestling with the Truth initiative.

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

There are exciting opportunities to build greater inclusion and equity in immigration law and policy in Minnesota, working both with individuals and organizations at local and national levels. The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota is the State’s largest provider of free immigration legal services for diverse low-income immigrant and refugee communities.

Interns will report to Robyn Meyer-Thompson and Tracy Roy and will be responsible for supporting legal representation to detained immigrants, educational outreach to the immigrant community, and supporting ILCM’s intake and pro bono work.

Each volunteer term will begin with an assessment of both the student’s individual goals and the areas of highest need in the immigrant and refugee communities. Often this will include supporting our legal team with several types of intakes and follow-up for those seeking legal assistance. Duties may include working with on-going cases, research, and day-to-day support in pro bono immigration cases. Interns may also work on the Minnesota Detention Project, which provides free legal screenings to unrepresented detained immigrants in deportation proceedings. These screenings identify potential relief, and evaluate if there are free, full-representation legal services available for the respondent. Interns may also work on other legal, advocacy, and strategic projects depending on current office needs.

To qualify for the internship, students should ideally speak Spanish, Somali or Hmong and be interested in immigration law, education and policy. Flexibility and commitment to fair treatment and support for immigrants are also needed. The internships will be full time from June to August. Students will have an amazing opportunity to learn about essential immigration legal work from professionals who are deeply committed to it and work directly with clients to improve their immigration status.

Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) Northwest

The IAF Northwest provides support and organizing assistance to its affiliated organizations in WA, OR, Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. The affiliates unite diverse groups of religious, education, health, labor, and community organizations around shared values: the inherent sacredness of all people – demanding that they be treated with dignity and respect – and the common good. Organizing practices are designed to acknowledge each person’s uniqueness, break down biases and stereotypes, invest in a leadership capacity, and create a relational trust that leads to action addressing the systemic causes of injustice. 

The IAF Northwest and its affiliates have a long list of successful campaigns addressing immigrant detentions, housing access, green jobs, sick leave, transportation, and police accountability, to name a few. At the current moment the organization is focused on a major regional initiative called Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization. Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization is an initiative based on building relationships between affiliated organizations and local tribes and Native-led organizations in addressing the ongoing injustices of colonization. Core to this regional focus is an 8 session facilitated training meant to prepare non-Indigenous Organizations to become respectful and active partners with an understanding of the history and contemporary realities of settler colonialism across the IAF Northwest region. 

The internship is designed to provide opportunities for exploring potential careers in community organizing. Interns will learn and practice the basics of IAF organizing; building “power with”; doing relational meetings; conducting power analyses; running effective campaigns, etc. They will be given opportunities to support the training and relationship building related to the Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization initiative as well as local issue campaigns.


ISAIAH is a political home for people of faith and good will to work collectively for racial, economic, and environmental justice in Minnesota. ISAIAH is grounded in using the principles and practices of community-based organizing to achieve its mission. The primary strategy of ISAIAH is to develop the capacity and leadership of people to be agents of change in their communities and in Minnesota. ISAIAH is statewide, connecting people of different faiths, races, and backgrounds through our congregational organizing, Muslim Coalition, the Black Barbershop and Congregation Cooperative, Kids Count on Us, the Young Adult Coalition, and the Rural Organizing Project.

Organizing Internship

ISAIAH has been very involved in addressing climate change and public safety, transforming our care systems, fighting for immigrants without documentation to be able to gain a driver’s license, and more. This internship would either work with the Southern MN congregational organizing team or with the Young Adult Coalition. The Young Adult Coalition of ISAIAH is a political home for students, renters, and anyone under the age of 40 who wants to organize together for climate, racial, and economic justice.

This work will likely include:

  • Work with grassroots leaders in multiple congregations to hold 1-1 conversations, small group meetings, and/or surveys around people’s experiences of issues such as housing, climate, transportation, healthcare, etc. There may also be opportunities to support congregations to engage in values-centered conversations around the upcoming elections and what our communities need to thrive.
  • Work with the Young Adult Coalition on issue campaigns such as weatherizing and electrifying every home, housing, and transit that can include canvassing neighbors, research visits with local officials and partners, public actions, and shaping the narrative through social media.

The full-time organizing intern will work over an 8-10 week period. Depending on the intern’s interests and organizational priorities, the intern could be based in the Twin Cities, Northfield, Mankato, or other Greater MN cities. They must have access to a car, if not in a location with adequate public transportation.

Communications Internship

The Communications Intern will work directly with ISAIAH’s Communications Director. The intern will be trained on executing strategic communications in social justice movement spaces by using narrative shifting language and storytelling across race, class, and religion.

The skills to be potentially exercised and developed include:

  • Written and verbal communications
  • Copy Editing
  • Social Media Skills (Twitter [X], Facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram)
  • Traditional Media and Press Relations (Print, Radio and Television)
  • Blogging
  • Storytelling and Narrative Shifting
  • Photography and Videography
  • Video Editing
  • Digital Organizing

The full-time communications intern will work over an 8-10 week period based in the Twin Cities.

James H. Binger Center for New Americans, University of Minnesota Law School

The Binger Center for New Americans protects and advances the rights of noncitizens in the United States through advocacy,  litigation, and community education.  In collaboration with clients, partners, faculty, and students we use the institutions of law and higher education to help foster an inclusive community that respects the dignity and agency of everyone, including non-citizens.

Interns will work with Binger Center faculty and staff. Interns will be responsible for supporting legal and educational outreach to the immigrant community. This will include supporting our legal team with several types of intakes and follow-ups for those seeking assistance, as well as interdisciplinary engagement and community outreach, administrative and operational duties and tasks and annual report data and design support. Duties may include working with ongoing cases, research, policy campaigns, and day-to-day support in all types of immigration cases. Policy work may focus on shaping new immigration-related laws or regulations at both the federal and state levels. Litigation support may include interviewing clients and drafting declarations, researching state and federal statutes, and compiling materials on human rights practices or other matters for use in immigration cases.

To qualify for the internships, students should ideally be able to speak Spanish or another second language and be interested in immigration law, education, and policy. Flexibility and commitment to access and support for immigrants are also needed. The internships will be full-time from June to August. Students will have an amazing opportunity to learn about cutting-edge immigration work from individuals who are deeply committed to it, as well as the chance to contribute to implementing policies with the potential to change people’s lives. 

TakeAction Minnesota

TakeAction Minnesota works year-round to make change that matters to Minnesotans by organizing at the grassroots, building dynamic and effective coalitions, educating voters, endorsing and electing progressive candidates, impacting state and local policy, and winning issue campaigns. Our work is focused on winning tangible victories that improve people’s lives and also on building the progressive movement to expand what is politically possible. Currently, we’re working on organizing tenants, parents, and young people across the state; building towards a Green New Deal for MN; and electing progressive candidates up and down the ballot.

The Data Internship will fuse data and technology skills, leadership development, data analysis projects, and voter outreach. Assisting with our data and field programs, the intern will gain experience in leveraging people-centered data to create social change and build power for working-class Minnesotans. Applicants should have experience with (or an aptitude to learn) data management and analysis skills. The intern will receive training/onboarding into common progressive data tools such as VAN, EveryAction, Mobilize, GetThru, and BigQuery.

In all of our organizing work, we are committed to developing leaders and building capacity. We take the same approach in working with interns; we see it as a chance to help develop the skills and experience of budding organizers who will work side-by-side with us to create social change for years to come. Interns will participate in training alongside staff, including training from both internal staff and any external trainers who are brought in. And like staff members, interns will have regular individual check-ins with their supervisor and participate in team meetings. Interns will leave this program as qualified candidates for organizing and campaign positions across MN.

For more information, you can reach out to River at

Projects for Peace

The Projects for Peace award is an initiative for students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program partner schools, which includes Carleton. This global program encourages students to develop innovative, community-centered and scalable responses to the world’s most pressing issues by funding them to design and implement their own “projects for peace.”

Individual “Projects for Peace” should address the root causes of conflict and promote peace anywhere in the world; take place during the summer; and are awarded grants of $10,000 each. Project leaders increase their knowledge, improve skills, and establish identities as peacebuilders and changemakers. 


  • December 4, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CST:  Mandatory Pre-Application form due
  • January 8, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CST:  Carleton deadline for all application materials

David Maitland—Robert Will Prize

This prize honors Professor David Maitland and Professor Robert Will ’50, and recognizes qualities important in defining a Carleton education – in this instance, involvement in one’s community. It is awarded to a student completing their sophomore year who, in the judgment of the Economics Department and the College Chaplain, has shown the greatest capacity to transform a community during their time at Carleton.

How to Apply for Social Justice Internships

Once applications are open, applicants may apply on Handshake. Details about specific internships are found there, as well as below.

Applications are due by 11:58 p.m. CST on February 7, 2024. The selected intern(s) will then apply for funding by 11:58 p.m. CST on any of the following dates, as long as funding remains: March 3, 31, April 28, May 26

Evaluation Criteria

While the different community partner organizations make the primary decision about how fitting a candidate is for their internship, we recommend thinking about the following assessment questions as you write your cover letter: 

  1. How does the work of the organization and/or the work of the internship fit with the student’s academic pursuits and/or vocation and career goals for the future?
  2. Has the student made the case for his or her genuine interest in the sector of the internship?
  3. What are the student’s desired outcomes for learning, skill building, and personal growth and do they appear to be a good match for the internship position?

History of Social Justice Internships

Many thanks to the Barry “Mike” Casper and Paul and Sheila Wellstone Fund for Community Engagement, the Clement F. Shearer Fund for Achieving Common Ground, the Interfaith Social Action Fund, and the Broom Fund for Social Justice, who make our Social Justice Internships possible.  

In establishing the Carleton Social Justice Internship program, the families of Mike Casper, Paul and Sheila Wellstone, Clem Shearer, and the donors to the Interfaith Social Action Fund and the Broom Fund for Social Justice, hope that dedicated, socially concerned Carleton students will have greater opportunity to enact their ideals, learn through community engagement, explore career paths, and have a positive impact on the wider world.

Barry “Mike” Casper, professor emeritus of physics at Carleton and a leading figure in the peace movement, died on January 27, 2007. Along with close friend and faculty colleague Paul Wellstone, Casper chronicled the story of the 1970s struggles of western Minnesota farmers to oppose a high voltage powerline in the book, Powerline: The First Battle of America’s Energy War (University of Massachusetts Press, 1981).  Never ones to observe from the ivory tower, the duo became central figures, along with a number of their students, in the highly charged protest movement.

Casper later became a key strategist in Wellstone’s 1990 U.S. Senate campaign and his policy adviser in Washington. The experience informed his final book, Lost in Washington: Finding the Way Back to Democracy in America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000).

As a professor, Casper co-created Carleton’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy program and supervised annual policy projects in which students were confronted with pressing societal problems—nuclear weapons proliferation, the AIDS epidemic, a national energy strategy, health care reform—and charged with solving them. Throughout his teaching, Casper put the ideals of equality, sustainability, and social justice into action.

Senator Paul and Sheila Wellstone, along with six others, died in a plane crash on October 25, 2002. Wellstone was first elected to the United States Senate in 1990 and became an outspoken advocate for many social justice issues and a leading voice for liberal Democrats. His book, Conscience of a Liberal:  Reclaiming the Compassionate Agenda (Random House, 2001), still helps to shape the progressive agenda.  His wife Sheila played a critical role in all of Paul’s campaigns and was known for her influential work in issues regarding domestic violence.

A professor of political science at Carleton for 21 years, Wellstone, like Casper, was known for using his professorship as a successful platform for tangible, ground-level social change. Students in introductory political science classes taught by Wellstone found themselves not only challenged to think about issues of poverty and inequality but actually knocking on doors throughout Rice County in an effort to organize around local issues of fairness.  Wellstone described this work in his How the Rural Poor Got Power:  Narrative of a Grass Roots Organizer (University of Massachusetts Press, 1978).

Clement F. Shearer was Carleton’s Dean for Budget and Planning and Professor of Geology when he died in 1998.  Before coming to Carleton, Shearer had a distinguished career in government service, first as a congressional science fellow, then as director of the national hazards program at the U.S. Geological Survey, providing analysis and early warnings for volcanoes, earthquakes and other geologic dangers. He began his tenure at Carleton as the Bernstein Geologist in residence, taught a popular seminar in hydrology in the Geology Department, and became one of the most admired and respected administrators of the College.

In addition to his contributions to the planning and management of the College, Shearer continued to be a strong advocate of community service.  He was a dedicated volunteer leader in many Northfield activities, held several positions on the Board of Directors of the Greater Minneapolis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, and served as advisor to a number of national organizations.  In recognition of his unusual ability to guide individuals through conflict resolution, the Clement F. Shearer Fund for Achieving Common Ground was established through gifts received in his memory. 

The Interfaith Social Action Endowed Fund was established in 2008 to provide support for programs and activities related to the intersection of faith and social action through the Carleton College Chaplain’s Office. The fund has become an important source of support for the Carleton Social Justice Internship Program as well as the activities of the Carleton Interfaith Social Action Group.

The Broom Fund for Social Justice was established in 2013 by Dorothy Broom ’66 to help to build the capacity of students to engage in the important issues of our time.  Dr. Broom, Professor Emerita at the National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health at the Australian National University and a Carleton International Trustee since 2001, hopes that through internships in social justice organizations, students will gain knowledge, skills, and vital experience as they deepen their learning, make contributions toward a more just and peaceful society, and explore career options.