Community Activism, Social Justice, & Human Rights Industry Guide

Why Spotlight These Areas?

We are in a moment of national conversation surrounding past and present injustices. Inequitable societal structures have caused black people and other marginalized communities to be disproportionately affected by police violence and COVID-19. Community activists along with social justice and human rights organizations are important drivers of change who impact how our society functions on both a large and small scale. 

There are a range of opportunities available to work in advocacy and influence social justice, human rights, and civic changes. Finding a career path often involves selecting which issues you want to center your work around and determining which aspect of these advocacy movements resonates with you most. Common issues are: healthcare, housing, environment, economic development, education, nutrition, transportation, and anti-discrimination. There are many career paths you can take; options include law, event management, community organizing, fundraising, media relations and direct care.

Major Non-Profits and Organizations (Non-Exhaustive)

Civil Liberties & Individual Rights:  

Community Development:  

Racial Justice:

Children, Youth, and Family:  

Research Resources and Related Institutional Reports

The following reports require the use of a VPN:

If you are interested in doing further research, BCC Research, IBISWorld, and Statista are all great resources.  They are accessible through the Undergraduate Job Hunting Guide (a.k.a. the Employer Research tab in the Handshake Resource Library). Browse them to find industries where communication skills are critical and find out which industries are faring better than others.

Finding Internships and Jobs: Recommended Sites

As this spotlight is focused on the U.S., many opportunities listed here may require U.S. permanent work authorization or citizenship. That said, international organizations covered by the International Organizations Immunities Act may not require U.S. work authorization – even if the work is based in the U.S. As always, any student requiring a U.S. work authorization should check with OVIS prior to accepting employment offers.

Sample Jobs and Internships

Sample Jobs:

  • Citizen Action of New York, Community Organizer
  • VYDC Twinfield AmeriCorps Member, Vermont
  • Network of Victim Assistance, Human Trafficking Task Force Organizer (PA)

Sample Internships:

  • Undergraduate Intern, ACLU
  • Washington Environmental Council Internship
  • Programming and Communications Intern, Just Vision
  • Health Advocate Student Intern
  • Civic Engagement Intern (Unpaid)
  • RAICES Austin Community Outreach Internship (Unpaid)

Want to learn even more about opportunities in community activism, social justice, and human rights, or need help with your search? The CPD is here to help. Log into Handshake and schedule an appointment with a CPD career coach.