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Graduate Assistant (Youth Voice Humanities Truck Project)

Date: Jul 21, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

About the Department/Unit

This position is funded by the Humanities Truck, which is housed in the American University History Department. The Humanities Truck is a fully customized delivery truck that creates a unique space for facilitating participatory, cultural, and educational experiences. It has the capacity to function as a recording studio, workshop and maker space, and exhibit and performance venue. People can engage with the truck’s interior and exterior spaces.  The exterior features powerful speakers, an all-weather flat screen television, and brackets for attaching a 120” roll-down movie screen for film showings. The magnetized exterior wall of the truck can serve as an exhibition space or also be used to facilitate workshops.  The interior of the truck is sound-insulated, equipped with air-conditioning, a second flat screen tv, and ceiling speakers. It is modular and flexible as tables and shelving can be easily added and moved. The space can function as a recording studio for doing oral histories, a digitization station, a workshop space, or a pop-up exhibit gallery. Visit for more information.


The person hired for this position will be supervised by Professor Jane Palmer in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology in the American University School of Public Affairs.



The "Youth Power / Youth Voice in Washington DC" Humanities Truck project is a collaboration between Jane Palmer and DC Action. The mission of DC Action is to make the District of Columbia a place where all young people grow up safe, resilient, powerful and heard. The project is a digital story collecting initiative where we will video record youth perspectives and experiences as a mechanism to advocate for improvements in public policies that affect DC youth.


Working through DC Action’s network of youth organizations, we intend to use the Humanities Truck as a mechanism to weave individual organizing events and actions into a collective statement about the needs and aspirations of young people across the District. The audio-visual tools of the AU Humanities Truck will help us document the voices of youth to create a citywide youth policy statement and advocacy. With the permission of youth and their parents, the video or audio recordings we collect from participants will contribute to Council Oversight and Budget Hearings and inform the city’s policy process. Through this project, DC Council members will hear directly from youth about the issues that impact their daily lives on key policy areas such as arts and culture, sports and entertainment, out-of-school learning, environment, jobs and entrepreneurship, housing stability, health, and community safety.

Essential Functions

The Youth Voice Project Graduate Assistant will provide administrative, graphic/web design, social media, and project management support to Professor Palmer and her community partner, DC Action.


Duties will include project management, assisting with scheduling and other logistics for each youth-oriented story collecting event, creation of graphic/web design and marketing materials, on-site assistance during events, and administrative task related to informed consent and post-event follow-up activities (transcription editing, social media posts, etc.).

Supervisory Responsibility

The Graduate Assistant will be supervised by Dr. Jane Palmer, Associate Professor, American University School of Public Affairs. The person in this position will also work closely with community partners at DC Action and other local youth organizations. 

Work Environment

This position is partially remote. Although most tasks can be completed in a remote capacity, the person in this position will also be expected to join other team members in the community for the various events where we record young people's stories, schedule permitting. 

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

The position is 10 - 12 hours per week during Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters.  If funding is available, this position may continue into summer 2023 under the same terms.

Salary Range

This position pays $17 per hour.

Required Education and Experience

  • Past administrative or project management experience
  • Ability to work at least 50% of the weekly hours during regular business hours
  • Comfort working with/in BIPOC communities 
  • A sense of humor and a "can do" attitude
  • Highly organized, strong attention to detail, and able to work independently, as needed

Preferred Education and Experience

  • An interest in - and passion for - youth-led social change
  • An interest in community power and policy advocacy
  • Familiarity with DC neighborhoods and issues affecting DC youth and families
  • Past experience working with youth
  • Graphic/web design and professional social media experience

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter outlining your interest in this specific position, a resume, and one example work or school product that demonstrates a set of skills related to the various expectations of this job description (e.g.,  a writing sample, a website you created, graphic design examples, or project management tool). Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Depending on the volume of applications received, we may only be able to contact those under consideration for the position.


Nearest Major Market: Washington DC