The Lisa Fittko Internship at Crossroads Fund was established by the friends of Lisa Fittko, to honor her legacy as a social justice activist. All her life, on two continents, Lisa advocated and worked for social justice and political rights. From her teenage years until she fled Europe in 1941, Lisa worked to oppose fascism. She and her husband helped to lead people out of Nazi-occupied France into Spain.
When she settled in Chicago, Lisa continued her activism. She helped organize Hiroshima Day in Hyde Park, was active as a precinct captain, tirelessly demonstrated against the Vietnam War, picketed for Farm Workers, helped to organize clerical workers at the University of Chicago, and served as board president of Harper Square, a housing co-op designed to integrate residents both racially and economically. She continued to be a beloved and respected member of movements for peace throughout the remainder of her life.
Lisa passed away in 2005. She is remembered by her friends, family, and a global community of individuals who are grateful for her efforts to fight fascism and injustice. Crossroads Fund is excited to host a program that honors Lisa’s legacy and engages a young person in social justice work. We hope to build the program as a lasting memorial to the life and work of Lisa Fittko.
LISA FITTKO INTERNSHIP FAQ’s
What is the Lisa Fittko Internship at Crossroads Fund? The Lisa Fittko Internship is a six month, paid internship for a young activist at Crossroads Fund. Lisa Fittko Interns work for 20 hours a week, participating in fundraising and grantmaking activities as well as an individual project that is unique to the intern. The Fittko Internship is a continuation of the Crossroads Fund commitment to fostering young progressive leaders. We support youth-led organizing through our Youth Fund for Social Change, and also include young people on our grantmaking committees and Upstart Board.
What do Lisa Fittko Interns do?
Lisa Fittko Interns provide crucial support to Crossroads Fund, particularly around the annual benefit and the grantmaking process. In addition to the day to day work of the foundation, each Fittko Intern has a personal project related to a current organizational need. Past Lisa Fittko Interns have worked on a special HIV/AIDS fundraising campaign, the Youth Fund for Social Change, a social justice evaluation tool, multi-media documentation of Crossroads Fund’s work and more. These projects allow us to improve how we understand and communicate about our work and the work of our grantees.
What do Fittko Interns gain from their experience?
Lisa Fittko Interns receive real world experience in grantmaking, fundraising, program evaluation and communications. Crossroads Fund is the only organization that supports such a diverse range of community activism. Working at Crossroads Fund gives Fittko Interns a unique overview of grassroots activism in Chicago. After their internships, Lisa Fittko interns have gone on to work on youth development, HIV/AIDS awareness, fundraising for LGBTQ organizations, worker rights and more. Two former Fittko Interns have served on the staff of Crossroads Fund, and one former intern is currently a board member.
LISA FITTKO INTERNS
Ari Pizarro (2018) is a rising senior at Dominican University with a major in sociology and minor in women and gender studies. They participate on campus in student groups like Common Ground, whose aim is to promote diversity and acceptance on campus while educating the community on LGBTQ+ issues. They are motivated to educate about social justice and philanthropy within their community as well as striving to remain critically conscious about other’s grievances to understand their own privileges and use them to make an impact.
Inbal Palombo-Amit (2017) is a Film and Art Therapy student at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC). She has experience in social justice organizing both on campus and in local organizations like SAIC's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), People's Action and Jewish Voice for Peace. As a member of the Chicago Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Anti-Islamophobia Committee, she has helped plan and lead workshops and political actions. She also organizes and facilitates a mental health support group for LGBTQ+ activists.
Carla Navoa (2014) came to Crossroads Fund from the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center where she worked as a youth organizer. As a Lisa Fittko intern, she assisted in coordinating the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL) youth organizing training for Crossroads Fund grantees and served on the Youth Fund for Social Change grantmaking committee. Carla is currently organizing in the Filipino community with Aliiance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE).
Veronica Morris-Moore (2013) collaborated on a series of workshops and gatherings for youth organizers in Chicago. She also assisted with the annual benefit and grantmaking process. Veronica is an organizer with Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) at Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP), a Crossroads Fund grantee. FLY recently won an important success; after a five year campaign, they succeeded in pressuring the University of Chicago Hospital to open a Level One Trauma Center on the South Side of Chicago.
Emmanuel Garcia (2012) spent his internship producing online multimedia pieces about Crossroads Fund grantees and programs. After his internship, he led a social marketing campaign in Cicero, IL that addressed issues of homophobia, transphobia, and HIV/AIDS stigma within the Latino community. He served on the Board of Crossroads Fund and joined the Crossroads Fund staff as Communications and Development Associate in November of 2014.
Alexia Rice-Henry (2010) built her development skills and strengthened fundraising at Crossroads Fund. After completing the Fittko Internship, she worked as Development and Communications Associate at Affinity Community Services, a Crossroads Fund grantee that organizes Black lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Alexia also received her MA in non-profit administration from North Park University and currently works at the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, while studying to be a lactation consultant.
Lisa Avila (2009) supported capacity building programs at Crossroads Fund. She also compiled resources for youth activists during her time as a Fittko Intern. After finishing her internship, she was a case worker supporting low-income Latino families. Currently, she works as a paralegal at Loevy & Loevy, a civil rights law firm.
Tim Jones-Yelvington (2008) researched social change evaluation during his time at Crossroads Fund, laying the groundwork for what would become our new grantee evaluation tool. He then served as Program Associate at Crossroads Fund, before leaving to pursue a Masters in Youth Development at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He is currently a consultant with Foresight Bright, a sustainability innovation consulting firm. As part of his work, he runs a summer program on environmental justice for high school students.
Rachel Wallis (2007) served as the first Lisa Fittko intern. She researched the history of Crossroads Fund for the 25th Anniversary and coordinated a fundraising campaign to benefit a pooled fund for HIV/AIDS. After leaving Crossroads Fund, she went on to do fundraising and communications for a variety of international labor and grassroots media organizations. Rachel worked at Crossroads Fund again from 2011 - 2014, working in Fundrasiing and Communications. She is currently a professional artist and consultant.