Spring 2021 Update: The requirements below are the same. Because of the ongoing COVID pandemic, we will only be using organizations that can operate remotely.
Here are a few organizations to investigate. Students have successfully worked with some of the ones listed here.
The key part of this course is practical experience working with an organization trying to solve issues that exist within the Black community. You are free to choose what issues you focus on as well as find an organization that is near where you live or work, if possible. With that in mind, there are a few ground rules.
- Organizations must be community-based or not-for-profit
- Should help build power of community people, not just provide service
- Your regular job generally does not apply, even if it is at a nonprofit.
- Student teaching does not apply either
- The organization should be focused toward the Black community (broadly defined): including Dominican and Puerto Rican diaspora
- Soup kitchens and similar charity work does not count. It’s good work, but not meant to empower the community (Look for organizations doing food justice work instead.
- Faith-based youth or community groups count; proselytizing does not.
- You should spend approximately 4 hours/week for a total of about 32 hours. Hours/days are worked out between you and the organization. We do this on the honor system, though note that you will need to write up your experience at the end of the course.
- Assignment needs to be approved by the professor
- You can choose the area of work that you do
Approved organizations for Spring 2020:
The below organizations have responded and expressed interest in hosting Lehman students this semester.
Blue Nile Rites of Passage: Youth rites of passage program in Harlem/Greenburgh (Westchester County) run by Abyssinian Baptist Church.
NEEDS: 4 students (2 male, 2 female) to assist youth program on Saturday mornings-early afternoons in Harlem. Typical responsibilities will be facilitating discussions, assisting session leaders, and greeting guests. Orientation session on Saturday February 8 in Harlem at 10 AM. Indicate your interest to the professor for placement details.
While We Are Still Here: historical and cultural preservation organization focused on Harlem’s legacy and two historical buildings in Sugar Hill.
NEEDS: One student with research skills to do guided research in the Schomburg archives in Harlem and work directly with the executive director. Indicate your interest to the professor for placement details.
Black Veg Fest: Brooklyn-based nonprofit working on food justice, health, and animal rights issues in the Black community.
NEEDS: up to 4 students to assist with office work and on-site at the Bronx festival in April. Typical responsibilities will be social media, writing/distributing press releases, handling press inquiries, and community outreach. Need to work at the Bed Stuy office before event and on-site at the one-day Bronx event in April. Flexible days/times. Indicate your interest to the professor for placement details.
Yonkers Community Development and Governance Council. Yonkers-based nonprofit run by a Lehman Africana Studies alum working on housing, youth outreach, entrepreneurship, and community development/control.
NEEDS: 1-2 students for office/logistical work and other tasks. Typical responsibilities depend on interest/skills and organization’s needs, but include research/writing of grants, and outreach. Location: Getty Sq, downtown Yonkers next to the Metro-North Station and where all the buses stop. Works on housing and community development issues. Indicate your interest to the professor for placement details.
International African Arts Festival: Annual summer African cultural and arts celebration held in Brooklyn.
NEEDS: 1 student for office/logistical work. Typical responsibilities depend on organization’s needs, but might include organizing event archives in office or handling vendor applications for the summer festival. Location: Bed Stuy, inside Restoration Plaza. Flexible weekday afternoon hours depending on availability. Indicate your interest to the professor for placement details.
The following have hosted students in past semesters and have varying needs.
Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. Bronx-based nonprofit with branches focused on housing/tenant rights or youth development/advocacy through their sub-group, Sisters and Brothers United. Typical responsibilities depend on organization’s current needs, but might include facilitation of teen discussion groups, homework or college application help, tenant organizing, or lobbying. Contact: They’re on East 196th St just a couple of blocks from the Lehman campus. Visit in person during business hours. You’ll need to be politely persistent and follow-up.
Community Voices Heard: Work around housing issues in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess Counties. Contact: through their website or in-person visits (better) to their offices.
Good Shepherd Services: Offer youth mentoring and development based in The Bronx. Contact: through their website
M.AN.U.P: Mentoring and development of teens. Based in Brooklyn. Contact: through their website
Project Connect: Work around eliminating domestic violence, gender equity, manhood development, and anti-bullying efforts. Contact: Email: email@example.com