Director of Organizing

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Director of Organizing (Bay Area/Los Angeles)

Initiate Justice’s mission is to end mass incarceration by activating the political power of the people it directly impacts. We organize our members, both inside and outside of prison, to advocate for our freedom and change criminal justice policy in California. 

We have 28,475 incarcerated members, 135 inside organizers, and hundreds more outside organizers and outside members throughout California. We are 100% led by people directly impacted by incarceration. 

Job Description:

We are hiring a Director of Organizing who can find ways to mobilize and build the power of our members and organizers, inside prisons and outside prisons, to end mass incarceration in CA. Candidates who reside in the Bay Area are preferred; candidates in Los Angeles are less preferred, but will be considered. The Director of Organizing will:

• Develop specific strategies to end mass incarceration in CA. 

• Develop short- and long-term strategic goals to achieve our mission.

• Design and roll out campaigns uniting the efforts of our Inside Organizing program in CA prisons and our Outside Organizing program in communities across CA.

• Lead the Organizing Team, provide support our three organizers across Los Angeles and Oakland, and guide all organizing work towards organizational and organizing goals and strategies.

• Serve as a member of the Initiate Justice Strategy Team responsible for strategic planning and goal setting across all areas of Initiate Justice.

Specific Projects will include:

• Weekly Organizing Team meetings, monthly progress check-ins, and annual goal setting to ensure that all Organizing Team members are on the same page and accomplishing Initiate Justice’s strategic organizing goals.

• Manage Initiate Justice’s six volunteer committees, where community members plug in to our work, support our staff, and help us achieve our annual goals.

• Provide direction, ideas, and oversight for our Inside Membership program to increase member recruitment, deepen our impact on our members, and  make sure that our quarterly newsletter to 28,000+ members is sharing strategic information and action items that will allow them to advocate for their freedom and support Initiate Justice’s current goals.

• Provide direction, ideas, and oversight for the Inside Organizing program to ensure Inside Organizers receive in-depth training, are able to share ideas and guide Initiate Justice’s strategy based on their experiences inside, and receive guidance and materials they need to lead campaigns and member recruitment at their facility.

Desired Qualifications:

• 3-5 years experience leading community organizing campaigns.

• Demonstrated ability to make strategic decisions; please give examples in your cover letter.

• Knowledge of the California state prison system.

• Knowledge or experience with public policy (how laws are written, passed, and implemented) is a plus.

• Strong oral and written communication skills.

• Applicants who are formerly incarcerated or who have an incarcerated loved one will be given priority.

• Location: candidates in the Bay Area are preferred; candidates in Los Angeles are less preferred, but will be considered.

Compensation & Benefits:

• $60,000 – $65,000 annual salary, full-time position

• Health, Dental, and Vision insurance premiums paid by Initiate Justice

• $1,000 in funds annually for Professional Development

• $500 in funds annually for healing/self-care (if directly impacted by incarceration)

Hiring Timeline:

• Application Due: June 30th, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST

• 1st & 2nd Round Interviews: July 1st, 2020 – July 31st, 2020

• Target Start Date: August 1st, 2020

How to Apply:

Please email with the following attached as PDF or Word Documents:

  1. Your resume.
  2. A cover letter explaining why you are a strong candidate to lead our strategy and organizing work, and can connect our efforts inside and outside of CA prisons on strategic campaigns to end mass incarceration.
  3. Completed work sample based on the details below.

Work Sample: 

Initiate Justice has offices and organizing activities happening in Los Angeles and Oakland, but we frequently receive requests from people in various cities like San Diego, Sacramento, Bakersfield, and Fresno asking how they can get involved in our work, or how they can start an Initiate Justice group in their area.

For your work sample, please create a 1-2 page proposal for how Initiate Justice could design and launch a Chapter Model that would reach people impacted by incarceration around the state to plug them in to our work of building power and passing laws to end mass incarceration. 

Some examples of topics you could address in your proposal could be

• What is the goal of the Chapter Model? What could success look like?

• What are some activities that chapter groups could do to support Initiate Justice’s mission and work? What could a chapter model allow us to do that we can’t achieve from Los Angeles and the Bay Area alone?

• What infrastructure or materials would Initiate Justice need to provide each chapter?

• What is the process or timeline for creating and maintaining a chapter?

• How are chapters structured? What does membership look like? Is there leadership, and if so, how is leadership structured? 

• What are some strategic questions you would want to ask our Organizing Team or Strategy Team to strengthen your Chapter Model proposal?

The purpose of this work sample is to give you an opportunity to show how you make strategic decisions and set goals, and how you turn those goals into concrete steps with logistics, resources, and structures in place to make the plan successful.

Initiate Justice is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law.