Class Year: 2017
Internship Placement: Jewish Voice for Peace
What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!
This summer I am working as a fellow for Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization that opposes anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, and anti-Arab bigotry. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation and the daily violence directed toward Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories. Specifically, I have been researching the Methodist Church divestment movement, and their resolutions concerning divestment that will be debated in the 2016 Methodist General Conference. I have also been creating a guiding resource for people involved with interfaith dialogue and outreach. In contact with other social justice organizations, I have had the opportunity to engage in one-on-ones as a way to exchange strategies and organizing experience as we mobilize for social change and political action. I have learned a lot about the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and the parallels to the divestment from South Africa movement during apartheid. I have been encouraged to synthesize my academic training into activism work having to do with communications, outreach, and advocacy.
Why I applied for my internship?
As a history major, I am fascinated by historical questions and their application to our contemporary moment. How did deeply ingrained cultural/economic/political structures effect/create/challenge/support a place, a practice, a movement, or a single event? How are people, issues, cultures, religions, art, etc. represented in certain places and why? How has a place become itself or known for certain attributes? These questions encourage us to ask further: how do we know our present moment and ourselves? Remaining unaware of the forces that drive our shared inherited past, we have no way to engage in a meaningful way with the present. Working for JVP has offered me an opportunity to take investigate these questions around the issue of Israel/Palestine, including the current Israeli occupation, controversies surrounding the daily violence visited upon Palestinian civilians, and the ways in which enormous sums of capital undergird and sustain occupation politics. I am accustomed to doing archival and textbased research, and JVP has pushed me to understand the world from another angle: from building outreach networks, conducting interviews, and collecting testimony, which is integral in making sure the historically underrepresented voices are heard. Historical inquiry prepares us to be active and engaged citizens, but we have to take the next to actually become so, and that it what I hoped would be the outcome of this internship