Health & Medicine Launches Giving Tuesday Campaign to Help Fund Equity Internship Program


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Health & Medicine launched its 2020 Giving Tuesday campaign with an intimate virtual performance by The Chicago Magic Lounge founding member Luis Carreon. 

This year’s Giving Tuesday Campaign raises funds for our Equity Internship Program. Help us raise $4,125, enough to support one intern for a 12 week part-time internship. Health & Medicine’s Equity Internship Program, which is dedicated to supporting learning, network growth, and successful career launch, provides interns with valuable experience in multiple health-related policy and practice projects. 

Why paid internships?

Internships provide critical opportunities for students considering careers in many fields, including public health and public policy, as well as experience necessary for entering the workforce. Unfortunately, many internships are unpaid opportunities, and only a small percentage of people have the resources and privilege of taking on the burden of unpaid labor without adding financial strain. 

Health & Medicine recognizes that benefiting from unpaid labor goes against our values. Our hope is to influence other organizations and universities to join us in shifting the paradigm and making similar changes. Providing paid internships is an important step toward creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive workforce. The health sector is the largest in Illinois’ economy in terms of number of jobs––and the nonprofit sector is likewise very large. Making internships equitable is a ripe opportunity for advancing equity in our field, economy, and society. Equitable internships are essential for health equity.

Health & Medicine’s Road to Intern Equity 

In 2018, Health & Medicine created an Internship Equity Committee charged with developing a new model for internships in which unpaid intern labor is replaced with a paid internship model, and for which we established a “one door” application process so that opportunities are not limited to the well-connected. We also developed improved programming to support interns’ successful career launch. The process of building an equitable program took a lot of thoughtful research, discussions, and pausing internships while the organization considered how to equitably employ interns in pursuit of our mission. Finally, in the summer of 2020, we had our first cohort of three paid interns, who were able to gain valuable experience in public health while earning an equitable wage. We look forward to hosting three cohorts of three or four interns in 2021.

Health & Medicine is proud of the steps we have taken so far to develop our Equity Internship Program and of our steps toward joining a national movement that improves economic mobility and workforce equity.