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Welcome & some thoughts on first days as an intern at FCNL

September 4, 2009

Hello Everyone & Welcome back to the Intern Blog!

As one of the eight new interns here at FCNL I thought I would send out a bit of an update on beginning work here… (For more background information on myself and the other interns, please visit our bio pages on the FCNL website.)

When I first accepted my job at FCNL as a Communications Program Assistant, not only did people wonder what that position was, but they also said, ‘what’s FCNL?’ I would then try to explain that FCNL was a Quaker lobby working in DC to promote issues of social justice, peace, and equality. To me, this seemed like a sufficient answer, but it often resulted in glazed over looks and remarks of, ‘oh, that’s interesting….’

Now that I have been here at FCNL for a few days and am getting used to sitting at my desk which looks out across the street at the Hart Senate building, I’ve begun to realize that regardless of how you try to explain the work FCNL does, the reality is that all of us have embarked on a year long journey of learning how our government works and, especially in my case, how best to help people all over the US become active in government. What I mean by this is, how do you help someone half way across the country who feels like their senators and representatives don’t have a clue what’s really going on feel like they have a voice? This is definitely not an easy question to answer, but the likelihood is great that there will be multiple answers to every question that arises during my time here at FCNL.

While I have had my moments already of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information I am going to be learning over the course of this year, I’m also excited about the prospect of finding new and interesting ways to reach people all over the country. FCNL already does a huge amount of communications via print media, the website, Action Alerts, and e-news. The organization has also found numerous ways to make contacting your members of Congress as simple and unintimidating as possible, and to me, the latter is one of the most important thing FCNL can do. Although I sometimes fall victim to this myself, there is no reason for anyone in the US, or anywhere in the world for that matter, to be made to feel that they cannot approach an elected official who’s job it is to represent them in the government and I hope that through my position here on the Communications team I can help people recognize their collective power to affect positive change.

Each person who works here at FCNL brings a different perspective to the table and I hope that throughout my time here I can remember how valuable this is to helping connect people. We all have stories to tell and in a way, that’s what all of this boil down to…

I am certain there will be more to come from myself and the other interns. We hope you’re reading, sharing stories, and getting involved!

Peace,
~Rachael

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