The SPLC is accepting applications for the Nick Ferentinos New Voices Fellows Program to assist in advocating for state-based student press freedom laws. The Fellow will work full-time remotely for ten weeks (tentatively June 1 – August 6), and receive a stipend of $5,250.
The Nick Ferentinos New Voices Fellows Program provides an opportunity for college students, including incoming freshmen, to work as grassroots peer organizers and trainers to help the New Voices movement grow and gain momentum. The specific duties of the 2021 Ferentinos Fellow will be determined in conversations between the Fellow and the New Voices Advocacy and Campaign organizer, but the Fellow can expect to gain experience in and understanding of policy analysis, grassroots organizing, coalition development and state legislative procedure.
New Voices is a student-powered, nonpartisan grassroots movement of students, teachers, and advocates across the political spectrum who believe in passing state laws to protect student press freedom. In 2021, New Voices legislation was introduced in Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Grassroots coalitions across the country are preparing to introduce legislation in 2022 and beyond. The Ferentinos New Voices Fellow plays an important role in assisting and preparing these advocates for success before their state legislature. For more information on New Voices, visit splc.org/new-voices/.
The successful Fellow will demonstrate the following characteristics:
- Current college or university enrollment, or enrollment as a first year student for the 2021-2022 academic year;
- Strong interest in issues relating to the First Amendment freedoms of speech and press and a commitment to advocating for the rights of student journalists, including but not limited to involvement in New Voices or other advocacy;
- Experience or demonstrable interest in journalism, public policy, law or community organizing;
- Strong analytical and communication skills;
- Creativity, dependability, and a willingness to ask questions; and
- Clear understanding of the long-term goals of the New Voices project and how your work supports those goals.
This is a full-time position, lasting ten weeks. Work will be done remotely for summer 2021, with the bulk of work being done via Zoom and Google Docs. Assistance may be available for applicants whose existing Internet connection or equipment may not be sufficient to meet the technological needs of the work. Such needs should be discussed with the New Voices Advocacy and Campaign Organizer prior to the first day of work.
The SPLC is an advocate for student First Amendment rights, freedom of online speech, and open government on campus. The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to high school and college student journalists and the educators who work with them. We work at the intersection of journalism, law and education. Founded in 1974, the SPLC is a nonpartisan, 501 c-3 nonprofit organization that serves as nation’s only organization dedicated solely to the legal challenges facing student media.
The Ferentinos New Voices Fellows Program is named for Nicholas Ferentinos, a renowned journalism adviser who died in 2016. Ferentinos taught English and speech at Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. from 1965 to 2000 and was faculty adviser for The Epitaph from 1976 to 1994. The Epitaph was the 1988 recipient of the SPLC’s Courage in Student Journalism Award, in recognition of the paper’s tenacity in telling the story of an HIV-positive student despite efforts by the principal to quash the story in the immediate wake of the Hazelwood decision. The program was established in 2019 thanks to the Sandler Foundation, to enable students to work as grassroots peer organizers and trainers and help the New Voices movement grow and gain momentum.
How to apply
Applications should include the following materials in a single PDF, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 10:
- Cover letter explaining your interest in the fellowship, including a description of any relevant experience
- One or two writing samples relevant to journalism, student press freedom, or advocacy.
Additional information may be requested during the application process.