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NMAH History Freedom School Fall Internships

Posted on May 20, 2013 by in The OFI Blog


Freedom School

The National Museum of American History’s Department of Education and Public Programs seeks three exemplary college students committed to making a positive impact on their communities to participate in the Freedom School fall internship program. Through this program, participants will:

  • Learn the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign first hand through dialogue with people who were there and through other primary sources
  • Meet with curators and educators to explore related material in the Smithsonian’s National Collection and visit local civil rights-related historic sites
  • Explore, discuss, and debate the meaning and legacy of social justice, democracy, and leadership in American history
  • Visit government offices, and advocacy organizations to discuss modern activism
  • Share lessons-learned with local high school students
  • Publish their research on the Smithsonian website for a national audience.

Students will document their experience through regular posts to the Museum’s blog and Facebook page, Twitter Q&As, Instagram and Tumblr posts, and three short video interviews with civil rights activists designed for a high school audience.

Participating students should possess superior writing skills and willingness to peer-edit, show comfort with or interesting in learning about social media, and have a strong background in American history and/or social justice issues. The internship will last for 10 weeks, full-time, from September 16 through November 22, 2013. A stipend of $6,000 will be provided for living expenses.

Each intern will be expected to write at least two posts for the Museum’s blog, create one additional content or social media piece for the web, and to host at least one video interview with a civil rights activist. The Museum is also interested in hiring according to students having learning objectives related to the following roles and skills:

Documentarian/Audio-Visual Lead: A student with experience in creating and editing video for the web and podcasts will:

  • Work closely with a graduate intern from the American University program in Film and Media Arts to assist with creating video interviews of civil rights activists and to record student experiences in the Freedom School; coordinate with the Web and New Media Office to ensure timely posting of video content to the program page.
  • Work with the Director of the Program in African American History and Culture (PAAC) to review, transfer to digital, and edit existing audio/visual resources from PAAC for use on the web and transfer to the Museum’s Archives Center.
  • Work with K-12 Education Lead to develop 1-2 podcasts related to the Freedom School Program

Online Journalist & Social Media Lead: A student with interest and experience in print journalism and social media production will:

  • Work closely with the Web and New Media Office to prepare regular posts to Facebook, Twitter
  • Lead a Twitter chat or Q&A related to the Freedom School program, share ideas for further social media
  • Collect and coordinate student submissions to the blog, coordinate peer editing
  • Conduct research in the Museum’s Archives Center and in object collections for artifacts to include in online resources, scan images and prepare for the web.

K-12 Education Lead: An intern with an interest in and experience with working with K-12 students in a formal or informal setting will work closely with the Museum’s Education Outreach division to:

  • Develop questions and format for video interviews, create wrap-around materials for video interviews
  • Work with documentarian to develop 1-2 podcasts related to the Freedom School Program.
  • Develop short lesson ideas based on the content of the Freedom School to share with high school students, visit high school classrooms to conduct short trainings on civil rights history & modern activism.


Interested students should create an account on SOLAA. You will input your contact information and click ‘confirm’. Then you will choose the NMAH Internship as your ‘Program Choice’. You will be given the opportunity to choose your top three project choices.

If you want to be considered for more than one Freedom School internship you must put them in order of preference. There you will upload the following documents no later than midnight on Monday July 1, 2013:

  • Résumé
  • Transcript (can be unofficial)
  • Cover letter identifying which of the three roles most interests you, your motivations for applying to the internship, and ideas of how you will share what you have learned after the program.
  • Writing sample, no more than 5 pages. The writing sample may be a blog post or other article for the web.
  • Two letters of recommendation

Once you have finished you must click ‘submit’ in order to be reviewed by the selecting staff.

Please submit questions or comments to:
Omar Eaton-Martínez
Intern & Fellows Program Manager
Smithsonian National Museum of American History