Lokahi’s campus project with the ACLU-SC got off to a big start last week with our orientation and training. Students from five campuses gathered at the ACLU’s downtown offices to meet each other, learn about the history of the organization and get a crash course on outreach and campus organizing techniques.
Our students this year come from varied campuses and backgrounds. Dan is our USC Ambassador, Alice will be working UCLA, Erica hails from CSULB, Kyle is from LA City College, and Alex is doing a community program covering the west side.
The students got a chance to hear from key ACLU staff, including deputy director Heather Carrigan, and the ACLU-SC Executive Director of the past thirty years, Ramona Ripston. They also spent a lot of time working with us on volunteer training, outreach techniques, organizing concepts, and administrative concerns. It was a lot of information packed into a one day training, but we are confident they will do great, and they will continue to attend monthly training’s throughout the school year in 2010 to fine tune their skills.
Our Ambassadors hit the ground running - several had recruited new ACLU members within days of attending the orientation, and all are balancing their finals and family holiday related commitments with getting their unique campus programs up and running.
Lokahi’s campus programs such as this are unique in the way that they are structured to maximize the time students give; interns receive a lot of support, direct management and ongoing training, but they are given a lot of freedom to create programs that are uniquely tailored to their campus environment. In the end, this allows them to have a meaningful ‘internship’ with something tangible to show for their efforts, while also providing a tremendous service and benefit to the organization they are working with. For our ACLU program, our Campus Ambassadors will be increasing ACLU membership, educating their campus about the organization and its current campaigns and helping to increase the awareness of the organization itself. In turn, student will be learning a lot about community organizing and outreach, cause marketing, fundraising and leadership and will end the program with an impressive resume of accomplishments.
We are very eager to see our students get to work in the new year - check back for regular updates, and we’ll also post links to the individual student blogs soon as well.