Rural & Migrant Ministry is a non-sectarian non-profit that seeks to nurture leadership in rural New York State through programs of youth empowerment, popular education, and the accompaniment of legislative campaigns. One of our youth empowerment programs is the Youth Economic Group (YEG). YEG operates a silkscreen business Bags for Justice using cooperative principles. Their goals are: "1. To create better economic opportunities for ourselves and our community. 2. To use our business and voices to call for economic and social justice within our community."
Over the summer, the youth members work in teams to explore justice and activism in their community and design new products that feature the issue. They also silk-screen previous designs to fill orders, and build the business by going to events. Over the summer students work at the studio 3 days per week. The work days require a fair amount of driving to bring students to the office and back home. The college intern works closely with the YEG Coordinator to enable the participation of the students by providing transportation, supervision, and mentorship. You do not need experience working with silk-screening in order to be a good mentor and help facilitate discussions about the social justice topics—although a willingness to learn the business/production side from the youth and coordinator is necessary to help the days go smoothly. It would be helpful to have an intern with graphic design skills to help the members with their products, but this is not necessary. YEG is housed at Spark, RMM’ worker education center in Liberty, NY that also serves as a community meeting place. The intern may also sometimes help open the space for community partners.
1. General Rural & Migrant Ministry orientation
We provide a three day orientation to all of our interns (typically about 10, spread out in our different programs). The orientation covers RMM history and mission, Child Safety training, van driving, and safety protocols. It also functions to build a cohort between all of the college interns.
2. Members of the Youth Economic Group and the Coordinator will introduce the intern to the local area as well as the ins and outs of their silkscreen business. This may include how to silkscreen, our accounting books, and our website and social media page.
- Facilitating youth in a cooperative setting
- Supporting low-income rural teen leaders
- Social justice causes
- Social media marketing
- Retail sales
- Social media marketing
- Product design