December 10, 2018

North Carolina Justice Center

VH@Duke Contemporary Ethnography Doctoral Intern with the NC Justice Center

SUMMARY:   Do you want to use your research skills to share the stories of marginalized communities and advocate on their behalf with policy makers and the broader public?

Come join the Worker’s Rights Project of the North Carolina Justice Center! We are seeking a doctoral-level contemporary ethnographer to support research and advocacy campaign work during the 2019-2020 academic year or the summer of 2019. This position is a doctoral Internship supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Versatile Humanists @ Duke.

The Justice Center invites applications for a substantive, research-oriented Internship that supports the Workers’ Rights Project’s efforts to elevate the stories of directly affected working people, especially in communities of color. The ethnographer’s research will support issue campaigns to raise the minimum wage, provide sick and family leave to workers, and ensure that the NC Department of Labor protects employees from unsafe working conditions and wage theft.

Although the Intern’s work would depend to some degree on his or her interests and skills, the Justice Center is particularly seeking someone to conduct contemporary ethnographic research and analysis among the populations directly affected by the policy areas addressed in our campaigns. Specifically, the Intern would be responsible for interviewing directly affected individuals, analyzing how these stories fit together in a coherent narrative, and finding compelling ways of communicating them to the broader public. Although not required, experience with videography and documentary production will be given special preference.

The Justice Center is one of North Carolina’s leading private, non-profit anti-poverty advocacy organizations. To accomplish our mission, we use an array of different strategies, including research, communications, community engagement, litigation, and legislative advocacy. The Ethnography Intern will be exposed to the ways in which different types of research can be incorporated into issue campaigns, while experiencing first-hand the broader world of think tanks, advocacy groups, and legislative politics.


  • Collecting stories from directly affected individuals, especially those in low-income communities of color, through interviews or other methods.
  • Analyzing those stories and combining them into coherent narratives that support our campaign goals.
  • Presenting individual stories and collective narratives in an effective manner, including written reports, social media, blog posts, infographics, and video clips. If the Intern has documentary skills, this will involve the creation of a 4-5 minute documentary.
  • Working with interviewees on telling their own stories, including the preparation of op-eds, letters-to-the editor, and video.
  • Editing video of new and existing interviews, if the Intern has appropriate skills.
  • Participating in campaign planning discussions and project staff meetings.