Common Cause North Carolina HBCU Democracy Fellowship
Democracy Fellows will work closely with Common Cause staff and volunteers to boost civic engagement and promote the value of becoming lifelong participants in democracy on their campus and the surrounding communities. We currently have fellows in Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
Note: We plan to continue our program on 16 campuses in the fall because this work has proven to be too important to skip a semester. We are monitoring campus and state responses to COVID-19. We plan to practice social distancing for our fall semester training and are prepared to make adjustments to the fellowship program as needed.
In the fall semester, all Democracy Fellows will focus on increasing student turnout in the current election cycle by:
- creatively communicating with peers about the importance of students voting and having a voice in decisions affecting their everyday lives, their futures, and our HBCUs.
- disseminating information about the voting processes (voter registration, requesting absentee ballots, accessing polling locations, voting early, etc).
- hosting at least one voter education event and one voter mobilization event.
- attending community events to learn about early voting, election protocol, and what will be expected during the election cycle.
In addition to increasing student voting, Democracy fellows will participate in two of the four election protection tracks:
- Voter Outreach (Peer to Peer Texting and Phone Banking)
- Contact voters with important dates and information about the upcoming election using the peer to peer texting tool and the VAN phone banking tool
- Meet weekly outreach goals
- Social Media Marketing
- Create infographics about what’s on the ballot and how to vote
- Make weekly posts on HBCU Student Action Alliance Instagram and Twitter
- Drive-Thru Polling Site
- Participate in 1-2 hour training about what to look for and how to report notes on polling sites
- Complete drive-thru checklist during the opening hour and closing hour of ten local polling sites
- Social Media Monitoring
- Participate in a 1-2 hour training about what to look for and how to report issues found on social media
- Commit to working 4 hours weekly and 4 hour shift on Election Day
In the spring semester, Democracy Fellows will focus on building relationships and educating their peers on ways to influence change by:
- hosting online or in-person events and discussions on topics that highlight the importance of civic engagement beyond voting.
- creating an engagement plan focused on topics and issues of interest that would inspire students to take action and participate in Common Cause’s pro-democracy work.
- writing at least one blog post, Letter to the Editor, or OpEd on a current event.
- disseminating information to peers on bills that will have a direct impact on HBCUs or students.
On average this is a ten hour per week commitment for the semester with the opportunity to continue for up to two additional semesters. Selected Democracy Fellows will receive $600 per semester upon successful completion of the program or course credit (if offered by the school). The Common Cause staff will work with each Democracy Fellow to secure internship course credit where possible.
NC Fellows: Beginning in Spring 2021 the North Carolina Fellowship will transition to being a calendar year opportunity starting in January 2021 and ending after final exams in December 2021.
- Build relationships with student leaders on your campus and from campuses across the state
- Participate in leadership and organizing training to prepare you for future work in politics, law, advocacy, public relations, and more
- Develop a mentoring relationship with Common Cause’s staff and connections to Common Cause’s community partners.
- Recruit and cultivate volunteers
- Manage and participate in voter registration and outreach to community members
- Track contacts and enter information into data form
- Participate in statewide Democracy Fellow trainings and learning events (beginning of the year retreat, end of year celebration, monthly conference calls, etc.)
- Attend weekly meetings with Common Cause staff or liaison and other campus Democracy Fellows to coordinate activities
- Establish and maintain relationships with community and campus partners
- Support and advance the Common Cause mission
- Increase Common Cause’s social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
- Disseminate information about the voting processes by making class announcements, organizing residence hall dialogues, tabling, and attending partner events
- Work closely with Common Cause staff to develop individual goals that are in alignment with student’s strengths and interests.
An ideal candidate will:
- Demonstrate leadership qualities
- Engage peers and the surrounding community in the electoral process
- Have strong written and verbal skills
Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.