WhitmanWayfinderGovernmentAndLawEconomics, environmental studies, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociology and anthropology, theater and dance, and gender studies all are majors that prepare students for a career in advocacy. Students should take into consideration an advocacy organization's size, scope, and impact when pursuing positions. If you are passionate about a specific advocacy group, get involved on campus, whether through a student organization, summer internship, or volunteering. Many students choose to pursue a law, nonprofit management, or other graduate degree after gaining a few years of experience in this field.
Following an internship with the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy analyzing socio-economic problems and their policy solutions, Joshua Ward '18 said:

"It's very exciting as my research is being distributed to different politicians at the county level and there is a coming effort to actually make some of the things I recommended become official public policy.  It's awesome to know that the work I'm doing has the potential to have a very material impact on thousands of people's lives."

There are many clubs on campus that will allow you to explore your interests, stretch your skills, and make an impact in an area about which you're passionate. Contact the ASWC Club Director at aswc_clubdir@whitman.edu to learn more about current clubs or start your own.

Academic Affairs Governing Board
Alongside the provost and the dean of the faculty, two students sit on the Academic Affairs Governing Board to consider planning, policy, and procedures that affect academics. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

All Students for Consent (ASC)
All Students for Consent helps the community support survivors of sexual violence and combat rape culture through education.

Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC)
The term ASWC refers both to every student currently attending Whitman and to the student government comprised of elected officials who voice the concerns, support the projects, and fuel the passions of the student body.

ASWC Nominations
This committee of appointed and elected members interviews and selects students to hold positions on college committees and governing boards as well as campus media organization leadership.

ASWC Oversight
Charged with ensuring that ASWC follows its own bylaws, this committee of appointed and elected members requires students to run fair, democratic elections and evaluate ASWC personnel without bias.

ASWC Student Affairs
This committee, comprised of elected members of the ASWC senate, responds to student concerns by writing legislation that clarifies the bylaws, allocates money, or demonstrates the position of the student body to the administration.

ASWC Sustainability
This committee coordinates many sustainability initiatives across campus, often using money from the Green Fund to finance projects and seeking the legislative backing of the ASWC senate to formalize changes.

Beyond Borders Club
Beyond Borders fosters global awareness. This educational and culturally-focused club hosts screenings, lectures, art displays, and other events, such as the Internation Celebration.

Black Student Union (BSU)
Black Student Union is a safe space to discuss topics of race. The club serves as a support group for students of color, but any student can attend.

Border as Method
It is the mission of Border as Method to promote awareness of the intersectionality of immigration to our community.

Budget Governing Board
Working with the President's Advisory Committee and the treasurer of the college, two students (one nominated student in addition to the ASWC Finance Chair, who serves ex oficio) sit on the Budget Governing Board to create, discuss, critique, and implement the College's budget. This representative advocates for the student body in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

Buildings and Grounds Governing Board
Two students sit on the Buildings and Grounds Governing Board to provide perspective on significant, long-term initiatives concerning structures, renovation, and upkeep. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

Campus Climate Coalition (CCC)
Campus Climate Coalition is the umbrella organization for various environmental campaigns and groups at Whitman. Its goals shift depending on which issues galvanize the campus that year.

Club Latino
Club Latino is a group of students of any ethnic background who seek to educate themselves and the community about the history and culture of the Latino population, especially that of the United States, Mexico, Central, and South America.

Council on Student Affairs
Five students (and at least two alternates) work as a disciplinary body to make rulings on student infractions of school policy.

Diversity Governing Board
Two students sit on the Diversity Governing Board, where they engage in frank discussions about creating a learning environment that attracts and embraces a more diverse community. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

Divest Whitman
Through rallies, sit-ins, surveys, and poster campaigns this group seeks to convince the Board of Trustees to allocate the college's fiscal investments in the fossil fuel industry elsewhere.

Enrollment Governing Board
Two students sit on the Enrollment Governing Board and work with the Office of Admission to develop ideology, improve the admission process, increase retention, and evaluate financial aid systems. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

Environmental Studies House (The Outhouse)
Up to eight students and one resident assistant can live in the Outhouse, where they educate their peers about ecological issues through all-campus programming and contribute significantly to Whitman's recycling pick-up.

Feminists Advocating Change and Empowerment (FACE)
FACE supports marginalized groups and advocates for a feminism that includes people of various backgrounds, genders, races, etc., rather than limiting their efforts to a particular "kind" of woman.

First Generation/Working Class Club (FGWC)
Sometimes FG/WC students struggle to adjust to Whitman; this club aims to help them overcome potential obstacles by providing a network and advocating for resources on campus.

Freedom Songs
The Freedom Songs Project includes a concert and zine that expand the kinds of media and stories consumed on campus, educate outside of the classroom and symposiums, and empower minority voices. Students can submit to the publication, perform in the concert, or join the team that coordinates the project.

Global Awareness House (Glo-Ho)
Glo-Ho residents raise awareness about world issues such as hunger, population, and human rights. Up to five students and one resident assistant can live in this interest house.

GlobeMed
A chapter of the national non-profit, GlobeMed at Whitman educates the community about issues of global public health through discussions, events, films, and a close relationship with Burma Humanitarian Mission (BHM). BHM supports grassroots education, community-based backpack medics, and refugee collaboration projects in Burma.

Indigenous People's Education and Cultural Club (IPECC)
Both Native and non-Native students comprise IPECC, a group that shares the diverse traditions of Native culture through entertainment, speakers, educators, and activities.

Multi-Ethnic Center for Cultural Affairs (MECCA)
The MECCA houses up to four students and one resident assistant who host race discussions, international potlucks, current events forums, and other events that celebrate and promote different cultures.

Mixed Race Club (HAPA)
HAPA responds to the modern world's continual blurring of the margins of "race" by creating a community for multiracial students and educating others about identity development.

Planned Parenthood Generation Action
This group educates the community about reproductive health and rights, providing a safe space to learn about healthy, enjoyable, and empowering ways to approach sex.

Power & Privilege
A day of presentations, discussions, and workshops, this annual event provides a space to learn about the hierarchies of power and the intersections of identity. Its scope and budget require extensive planning and many volunteers who care about social justice.

President's Budget Advisory Committee
The ASWC Finance Chair and three appointed students comprise this committee, which makes recommendations to the President's Council about the college's budget.

Student Life Committee
Six students serve 2-year terms and address non-academic or non-disciplinary matters relating to student life, often by recommending policy changes.

Student Life Governing Board
Two students sit on the Student Life Governing Board, where they work with the dean of students, provost, faculty, and president of the college to address the quality of life on campus. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

Student Registrar Committee
Four students advise the Registrar's Office about course schedules and registration.

Student Technology Advisory Committee (STAC)
Three appointed students make policy recommendations regarding campus technology services and work with WCTS staff.

Sustainability Committee
Three appointed students work alongside the Campus Sustainability Coordinator to advise the college on projects and policy changes.

Whitman African Students Association (WASA)
WASA supports African students on campus and teaches about African culture and issues.

Whitman Wire
Founded before the turn of the twentieth century and funded by ASWC, the Whitman Wire is an entirely student-run weekly publication with news, arts and sports coverage as well as editorials. It serves as an open forum for student voices.

Whitman Teaches the Movement (WTTM)
This program trains students to teach about the 1960s civil rights movement in local schools. Using curricula developed by the Walla Walla Public School District and the Southern Poverty Law Center, WTTM increases tolerance and anti-discrimination education.

Whitman Institute for Scholastic Enrichment (WISE)
Each summer the Intercultural Center hires resident assistants to lead local rising ninth graders through a three-day pre-college program at Whitman.

Community involvement helps students understand a broad range of issues and is becoming increasingly important in the eyes of many employers. For more ways to connect with local organizations, contact the Student Engagement Center in Reid Campus Center.

Spring Break Service Trip

Spring Break Service Trips are week-long volunteer trips that allow Whitman students to focus on a particular social issue outside of the Walla Walla community. Each trip's service, education, and reflection opportunities are arranged around a theme, giving students a greater sense of their impact and role on that issue.

Participants volunteer with a primary social organization throughout the week, in addition to visiting and working with nonprofits to gain an understanding of the issues that affect a broader community. Students also have a chance to explore the city or area they are visiting because they are typically housed at local churches and cook most meals together.

Trips destinations and themes can vary from year to year but some of the previous examples include: Refugee & Resettlement in Seattle, WA, Environmental Conservation in Arcata, CA, Urban Education in Portland, OR, and Relief & Rebuilding in New Orleans, LA.

Green Park Bilingual

The Greek Park Bilingual Program takes volunteers to the Green Park Elementary School where they help students in the classroom by acting as a safety net for the students who are transitioning from learning in Spanish to learning in English. These volunteers are expected to be able to teach a range of subjects such as math, reading, writing, and science while only conversing in Spanish.

Green Park Bilingual volunteers offer academic support to ELL students in K-3 classrooms with students working on both math and literacy fundamentals. Spanish language proficiency is a prerequisite for this opportunity.

Fellowships and grants afford many students the opportunity to continue their learning beyond graduation in high-impact programs. For more information, please contact the Office of Fellowships and Grants in Reid Campus Center.

Boren Fellowship
The Boren Fellowship, as an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provides unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. Boren Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Coro Fellowship 
The Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs is a full-time, nine-month, graduate-level experiential leadership training program that prepares diverse, intelligent, and committed individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena. Unconventional by traditional academic standards, the Fellows Program is rigorous and demanding, an unparalleled opportunity for personal and professional growth. The Fellows Program is offered in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and St. Louis.

Critical Language Scholarship (U.S. Dept. of State)
The Critical Language Scholarship institutes provide a fully funded, group-based, intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experience for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizen undergraduate, master's and Ph.D. students. This program is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
The levels that are available for each language include: Arabic, Persian (advanced beginning intermediate or advanced level); Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu, Swahili (Beginning, intermediate or advanced level); Chinese, Japanese, Russian (Intermediate or advanced level). The countries that are available to study in include: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, or others where the target languages are spoken.

Davis Fellows for Peace (Middlebury) 
The Davis Fellowship is offered to 100 nominees in or to cover the full cost of summer language study from beginner to graduate levels. At the Middlebury campus, students can study Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, and Russian. At the Mills College campus, students can study Arabic, Italian, or Spanish. Davis Fellowship funds are limited and will be awarded on a competitive basis. The Financial aid forms are not required for the Davis awards. However, students are encouraged to apply for regular Middlebury College financial, which is awarded on a demonstrated-need basis, through the office of financial aid.

Davis Projects for Peace
The Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for students at Davis UWC partner schools, including Whitman, to design grassroots projects for the summer - anywhere in the world - which promote peace and address the root of creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging project participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding, and breaking down the barriers that cause conflict. Projects that work to maintain peace will be selected for funding at $10,000 each.

Davis-Putter Scholarship
The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund provides grants to students actively working for peace and justice. These need-based scholarships are awarded to those able to do academic work at the university level and who are part of the progressive movement on the campus and in the community. Early recipients worked for civil rights, against McCarthyism, and for peace in Vietnam. Recent grantees have been active in the struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression; building the movement for economic justice and creating peace through international anti-imperialist solidarity. The first and most important qualifications for a Davis-Putter Scholarship is active participation in struggles for civil rights, economic justice, international solidarity, or other progressive issues. The applicant's financial need and ability to perform academically at the college level are also evaluated. The maximum grant is $10,000 and may be considerably smaller depending on the applicant's circumstances and the amount of funding available.

Greenlining Institute Fellowship
The Greenlining Institute is a national policy, organizing and leadership institute working for racial and economic justice. Greenlining ensures that grassroots leaders are participating in major policy debates by building diverse coalitions that work together to advance solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. Greenlining builds public awareness of issues facing communities of color, increase civic participation, and advocates for public and private policies that create opportunities for people and families to make the American Dream a reality.

General
To learn more about working on campus, visit the Student Employment page. We have general job search resources here. For employers committed to diversity and opportunities for minorities, visit workplacediversity.com, nemnet.com, and blackcollegian.com.

Industry Job Boards

Internships and on-campus employment are excellent for accumulating work experience, developing your narrative, and broadening your network. Note that the list below is not comprehensive. Check sites such as vault.com and internships.com for more opportunities.

Studying away from campus is a fantastic way to learn more about the world, as well as an excellent experience upon which you'll draw throughout your academic and professional career. For more information, contact Off-Campus Studies in Memorial.

SIT: Serbia Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans
Through the SIT: Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosova - Peace and Conflict in the Balkans program, Whitman students can gain firsthand knowledge of peacebuilding, conflict transformation, and the struggle for human rights in Serbia, Bonsnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo.The program is based in Serbia, but students take educational excursions to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.

AU Washington Semester Program
Whitman student who wish to learn about the U.S. government and national policy or engage in community organizing in the heart of the nation's capital may apply to attend American University's Washington Semester Program. Students obtain hands-on experience by participating in an internship as well as enrolling in a seminar course, which is often taught on location taking them behind the scenes in D.C. Washington Semester students also will choose location to conduct an in-depth research project project to enroll in an elective at American University.

SIT: Ecuador Development, Politics, and Languages
The SIT: Ecuador Development, Politics, and Language program analyzes the connections and interplay between language and power in Ecuador. Students will examine how language shapes politics and how different groups in Ecuador have used languages to instill, reinforce, subvert, and reinvent power relationships, both historically and today. Students participate in many educational excursions including a trip to the Galápagos where students study the discourses related to sustainability and tourism. Students produce a final Independent Study Project.

SIT: Morocco Migration and Transnational Identity
The SIT: Morocco Migration and Transnational Identity program based in Rabat examines the factors driving internal and international migration. Students consider how human mobility is shaped by religion, security, youth culture, desertification, poverty, and other pressing issues and how mobility engenders transnational art and multilayered identities. Excursions to northern and rural areas of Morocco, as well as to Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, illuminate many different aspects of migration.

Mexico Solidarity Network (MSN)
The Mexico Solidarity Network introduces students to the ideas and people involved in autonomous, community-based, organizing in Mexico. Students spend six weeks in Chiapas learning Spanish and the history and ideas behind the movement before spending the rest of the semester in homestays in Tlaxcala and Mexico City. The final two weeks of the program are spent at the Centro Autonomo in Chicago.

The Philadelphia Center
Qualified Whitman students interested in a professional development experience in the historic city of Philadelphia may elect to participate in THe Philadelphia Center program. Participants on this program will intern on a field of their choice for 32 hours a week. The Philadelphia Center offers more than 800 internship options to choose from with organizations such as the Environmental Protection Association, Philadelphia Zoo, arden Theater Company, and the District Attorney's office. In addition to the internship, students will enroll in a weekly City Seminar and one elective course.

Here are some possible post-graduate degrees pursued by people in advocacy. Contact Gayle Townsend at townsegv@whitman.edu for additional information.

Alumni in the Field

Log in to LinkedIn or Whitman Connect to learn about Whitman alumni with jobs in advocacy.

Potential Job Titles

Civil Rights Canvasser
Community Organizer
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Victim Advocate
Family Mediator
LQBTQI Counsellor
March Organizer 
Program Manager
Sexual Violence Team Leader
Social Worker
Sustainability Coordinator
Training Supervisor