Community Empowerment Activists

Program Vision

The Community Empowerment Activists (CEA) program develops critically engaged students through a part-time paid internship placement with grassroots, advocacy, and base-building organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students will advance the social justice vision of their host organizations through campaigns, coalition-building, and other initiatives in solidarity with diverse San Francisco residents, while examining the complexity of policy, politics, and regional Bay Area dynamics which impact vulnerable local communities.


  • Work 8 hours per week on-site with host advocacy organization and 1-2 hours per week off site during academic year ($16 per hour compensation)
  • Attend biweekly McCarthy group meetings and monthly advising sessions to gain mentoring around issues related to grassroots organizing, professional development, and personal growth (guest facilitators also include USF staff/faculty and community partners)
  • Participate in orientations, retreats, end-of-semester presentations, and special community partner events
  • Participation in the CEA program is not for academic credit
  • Host organizations are selected and paired with CEAs  at the discretion of McCarthy Center staff
  • The program requires a one (academic) year commitment
  • Community Partner Host Agencies include:

  • Causa Justa
  • South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN)
  • SF Rising
  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)
  • Our Mission No Eviction
  • Council on Homelessness
  • Jobs with Justice