Who We Are: Political Research Associates
Political Research Associates is a progressive think tank devoted to supporting movements that are building a more just and inclusive democratic society. We expose movements, institutions, and ideologies that undermine human rights.
PRA is the preeminent progressive think tank that monitors and challenges the U.S. Right Wing. For 35 years PRA has built the capacity of social justice change makers to understand, adjust, and do battle with their organized adversaries on the Political Right. We are a broadly respected and trusted source of information and analysis among advocates, journalists, and academics alike, combining a social justice movement orientation with deep expertise on the key groups and individuals at the center of the Right’s new governing coalition, including the Christian Right/theocrats, white nationalists and the “alt-right,” economic libertarians, and Patriots and other right-wing forces.
At PRA our main objectives are to: 1) inform and strengthen the work of frontline social justice partners; 2) expose and isolate organized opponents of human and civil rights; and, 3) shape public debate of key issues, using our profile as a think tank to open space for partners to advance needed solutions. Distinct from some other “watchdog” organizations, social justice groups comprise PRA’s principle constituency. PRA is likewise unusual in having a broad focus across many sectors of the Right, from neo-Nazis to free-market neoliberals.
Who You Are: Senior Research Analyst
You are a talented researcher, analyst, and writer. Driven and committed to social justice, big ideas and even bigger challenges excite you. You recognize that in this moment of crisis, social justice advocates will have to make significant adjustments to refashion ourselves as an effective resistance movement capable of robust defense of rights and liberty—with emphasis on those threatened by racism, xenophobia, and gender & sexual violence. You also see that we need a forward, welcoming stance that looks outward to the millions of people not yet part of our networks who are alarmed and fearful of what they see happening in our country and will join with us if we create appropriate opportunities for them. The idea of helping build such a movement is what gets you out of bed in the morning.
PRA is currently seeking a Senior Research Analyst for our program on Racial and Immigrant Justice. This role will help develop and implement work focusing on White nationalism and anti-Semitism, bringing an intersectional lens that recognizes the roles of race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, and sexuality in the spike in racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Jewish threats, hate speech, and ethnoviolence as well as government targeting of stigmatized communities. Reporting to the Research Director, you will be charged with leading research and educational efforts that are actionable for advocates and allies and that respond to the demands of the current moment: that we address anti-Semitism both in its own right and in relation to the broader challenge posed by rising White Nationalism to immigrant and racial justice and to pluralistic democracy.
The Senior Research Analysts key responsibilities include:
- -With support from the Research Director, develop and implement annual programmatic goals and priorities for the Racial and Immigrant Justice program and contribute to program team goals and priorities.
- -Lead a new expanded focus on White nationalism and anti-Semitism, developing a 2 year work plan, with specific activities and timelines
- -Lead work to establish a learning community on contemporary anti-Semitism and White nationalism with organizing, advocacy, research, and faith partners (both Jewish and non-Jewish).
- -Generate high-quality research products for publication in various PRA and external vehicles, including The Public Eye, printed reports, and Web content.
- -Develop and maintain ongoing productive relationships with organizing and advocacy groups in order to improve the quality and impact of both our and their work.
- -Keep research team and development and communications staff informed of and conversant in your areas of research.
- -As appropriate, and with support of Research Director, identify opportunities for collaboration with staff and outside researchers/writers.
- -Work with communications and research staff to develop and implement an appropriate media and communications strategy for PRA research and analysis in the area of racial and immigrant justice.
- -Prepare and execute convenings, presentations, briefings, trainings, strategy discussions, etc., to support movement partners in deepening their understanding, analysis, and strategy on issues of racial and immigrant justice.
- -Partner with the Development Director in developing proposals, briefing funders, and reporting on program outcomes and impact.
- -Mentor research interns, delegating appropriate tasks, providing feedback on work products, and helping develop the next generation of researchers on the Right.
- -Participate in organizational development and administrative projects as needed and assigned.
- -Represent PRA in a professional manner, consistent with our mission and strategic plan, both within the organization and in public
Qualifications: Commitment to the vision and mission of PRA; demonstrated experience researching and writing on the U.S. Right, White nationalism, Antisemitism; familiarity with social justice movements, organizing and advocacy groups in the racial and immigrant justice sectors; excellent research and analytical skills; excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills; demonstrated efficacy managing projects and deadlines; passion for social justice; critical and creative thinking; strong verbal communication, presentation, and facilitation skills; ability to work both independently and as part of a team; ability to support and contribute to all areas of the organization’s research program; and willingness to learn new skills.
Salary is on a social justice nonprofit scale, commensurate with skills and experience, with a target range of $52,000-$62,000 annually. Generous compensation package includes full medical & dental, retirement, fabulous colleagues, and a collaborative working environment. This is a full-time 2 year salaried position based in Somerville, Massachusetts, with the possibility of extension. PRA is a racial justice and equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. People of color, LGBTQ persons, and women are strongly encouraged to apply.
Political Research Associates is committed to hiring someone with the right mix of experience (both traditional and nontraditional), political commitment, and potential to grow with us. We strongly encourage people from communities most negatively affected by right-wing ideologies & campaigns to apply, particularly: people of color; immigrants; women and feminine-identified people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and Two-Spirit people; genderqueer, trans, and gender non-conforming people.
To apply please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and references to Jennifer Worden at email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, position open until filled.
More on PRA:
Our contributions to social justice come in the form of strategy memos; workshops, briefings, and consultations; investigative articles and reports; an award-winning quarterly magazine, The Public Eye; op-eds and expert media commentary; a large online archive of research and analysis and a unique research library open to the public; adaptation of some of the best academic research for use by activists; and long-term strategic partnerships with visionary social justice organizers. A small sample of our many and varied accomplishments over our 35-year history include:
- Becoming a leading resource on white nationalism, right-wing populism, and fascism. With deep expertise on the histories and contemporary expressions of these movements, PRA has played a prominent role over the past year educating audiences about the threat of a right-wing populist upsurge as open bigotry became an increasingly prominent feature of the U.S. presidential campaign, particularly around the candidacy of Donald Trump. We were a contrarian voice of caution to those who disregarded the viability of an electoral strategy rooted in a cross-class and -gender coalition of white people. Since the election, we have been overwhelmed with requests interpret what happened and prepare social justice communities for the consequences.
- PRA anticipated the current resurgence of right-wing paramilitaries, and we have exposed leading so-called Patriot movement groups, including the III% militia implicated in armed attack on Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis as well as the recent plot to bomb a mosque and Somali immigrant housing in Kansas. In particular, we have backstopped rural community resistance to right-wing paramilitary groups with opposition research, strategic counsel, community and press briefings, and co-publication (with Rural Organizing Project) of Up In Arms, a report and activist resource kit.
- PRA is a leading national resource for challenging one of the leading threats to civil rights and labor laws, namely the dominionist (soft theocracy) strategy of claiming exemptions under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. This approach got a big boost in the 2014 Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision and has been attempted in a number of states, including Indiana, Arizona, and Mississippi. We expect religious freedom claims may emerge as a prominent strategy of the incoming administration, in which dominionists are playing a prominent role.
- Exposing the role of right-wing U.S. evangelicals in promoting state persecution of LGBTI people in Uganda and elsewhere on the African continent. PRA’s groundbreaking research in this area has shaped activist, media, policy, and academic responses to this human rights crisis. Our research provides one of the bases for a lawsuit charging crimes against humanity brought by Sexual Minorities Uganda against American anti-LGBT campaigner Scott Lively. And, PRA has worked closely with U.S. activist groups to confront and challenge Lively and other “exporters” of U.S. culture war politics.
- Collaborating with community and labor groups to expose & challenge forces attempting to privatize schools, transit, and public health systems in Massachusetts. PRA is the research partner to a coalition that is pushing back against the conversion of public services into profit centers for private enterprise.
- Shaping press coverage and public debate on current events and major news stories ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing by neo-Nazi Timothy McVeigh, to the anti-Obama Tea Party backlash, to the January 2016 occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge by Patriot movement paramilitary groups.
Interested in joining our team as an intern?
PRA offers semester, full academic year, and summer internships with flexible scheduling. We offer a $500 stipend for those who can commit to 8-10hrs/week and $1000 stipend for those who can commit to 16-20 hours per week. Internships take place in PRA’s Somerville, MA office. Please note: We are not seeking remote interns at this time.
Whether through its hard-hitting reports and investigative long-form writing, or its analytical, web-exclusive articles and insightful daily blog posts, Political Research Associates is committed to holding those on the Right who seek to undermine social justice and human rights accountable. PRAs research areas span gender, racial, immigrant, and economic justice; civil liberties; education; and other areas under attack by the Right. Our research and analysis helps inform the struggles of social justice advocates and works for a better, more just society.
Internship Application Deadline: August 8th for fall internships and November 1st for spring internships (additional applications will be considered on a rolling basis).
To apply, send a resume, one writing sample, and a cover letter detailing why you want to intern at PRA to firstname.lastname@example.org. PRA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. People of color, LGBTQ persons, and women are strongly encouraged to apply.
In your cover letter please indicate your availability and highlight your interest/experience in one or more of the areas below:
Research & Editorial
Interns help in investigating a variety of right-wing movements and institutions, and in producing The Public Eye magazine. We are also looking for interns with journalism backgrounds interested in contributing to writing and editing as well as research specific to magazine articles, conducting and transcribing interviews, and suggesting new features. Research and editorial responsibilities may include:
- Extensive web, library, or phone research; proofreading and fact checking
- Meeting and coordinating with researchers and analysts
- Assistance with design and layout of the magazine
- Contributing original posts to the Eyes Right Blog and help keep the blog updated with daily content.
Communications & Development
Interns sometimes report directly to the Communications Director and contribute to our marketing/digital strategy and best use of our website through tasks such as:
- Drafting press releases, email blasts, newsletters, and other materials
- Supporting the development of media strategies and journalist outreach for promoting major releases/events
- Contributing to social media, blog, and other editorial opportunities
- Multimedia projects using layout, photo, audio, or video equipment; Supporting fundraising initiatives and helping integrate communications and development.
QUALIFICATIONS: Excellent written communications, editing, and proofreading skills; detail-oriented; proficiency with MS Word, Excel, and graphic design applications preferred; prior experience in either journalism/research or marketing/public relations; ability to multitask and handle short- and long-term projects; ability to work independently and part of a team; interest in progressive activism. Social media, journalism, blogging experience a plus.
Looking for another way to get involved? Email email@example.com with a resume (including a reference) and tell us how you’d like to support the work we do at PRA. We are particularly seeking assistance in the areas of social media, development, graphic design, and fact checking.
For Writers and Artists:
For our submission guidelines for Public Eye as well as politicalresearch.org, please go to: http://www.politicalresearch.org/submission-guidelines/