Healing to Advocacy Program Manager

Compensation: $82,000 – $86,000

To apply: essiejusticegroup.bamboohr.com/jobs

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones and include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender nonconforming people, elders, and young people.

Through the development of thoughtful organizing models, a vibrant Black Feminist organizational culture, and scalable structure our aim is to break the isolation of the 1 in 4 women who have loved ones behind bars and sustain bold decarceration advocacy through the leadership of our members. We have spent the last six years honing our Healing to Advocacy organizing model and have graduated over 200 women in 29 cohorts into our Sisterhood, building an active member leadership structure across California. We now seek an exceptional, values-driven leader to join our team as the Healing to Advocacy Program Manager to launch additional member cohorts composed of women with incarcerated loved ones across the state.

The person filling this position understands and believes passionately in people power and is deeply interested in the leadership development of the people most impacted by the systems we seek to change. The Healing to Advocacy Program Manager is a crucial leader within our organization charged with managing staff and the day-to-day operations of Essie’s signature organizing program. The ideal candidate is a master project manager and executor who thoroughly enjoys implementing large and growing programs. The Healing to Advocacy Program Manager will also have an important role in recommending changes to the Healing to Advocacy Program and leading in implementing those changes.

At the end of the day, what this person loves to do is make sure things happen and happen well. The ideal candidate can thoughtfully create work plans; delegate and support others in program implementation; bring out the best in staff, contractors, and members through strong management and people skills; and drive themselves and the staff they supervise towards goals.

The start date for the Healing to Advocacy Program Manager is April 5, 2021. The application deadline is midnight on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

Core Responsibilities

Manage Essie’s Healing to Advocacy Organizing Program: Directly manage 1 – 2 staff members and run the day-to-day operations of the Healing to Advocacy Program. Key functions include:

  • Logistics: Create a top-notch logistics plan to reduce barriers to participation. Solve complex logistical problems related to the different parts of the program and in response to the needs of members.
  • Childcare Program: Manage and co-design the EssieKids! Program, ensuring child care needs are reasonably met within the Healing to Advocacy Program.
  • Contractor & Relationship Management: Manage contractors, including childcare providers, guest trainers, and other specialists. Hold external relationships necessary to run the overall program successfully.
  • Member Recruitment & Cohort Filling: Coordinate and oversee the implementation of a member recruitment strategy. Member recruitment involves thousands of nomination letters from incarcerated people, coordinating a nominations committee to make phone calls to the nominees, and filling dozens of member cohorts statewide.
  • Cohort Launch: Launch cohorts in 15-20 different locations across the state.
  • Cohort Graduations: Coordinate a team of staff and members to ensure that 2-4 Graduation events occur per year that graduate multiple cohorts each and officially welcome cohort participants into Essie’s advocacy body and membership.
  • Evaluation: Manage data and administration goals during all parts of the program.




Member Training & Support

  • Coordinate the multi-day agenda and facilitate the Essie Facilitator Training Retreats to prepare Essie members to run cohorts in their areas.
  • Respond in a culture and values-aligned manner to needs, concerns, and recommendations from Healing to Advocacy Facilitators and program participants.
  • Track and share the leadership development outcomes with the Directors’ Team through strategic data collection, presentation of information, and uplifting actionable recommendations.

Team Leadership

  • Ensure the program is meeting its stated goals as set by the Director of Membership & Organizing and the collaboratively created Operational Plan. Co-design and implement a program evaluation system.
  • Proactively provide input on programmatic improvements.
  • Manage and train staff and contractors who are carrying out core functions of the Healing to Advocacy Program (i.e. childcare, staff organizers, trainers, graphic designers) to achieve set organizational goals together.
  • Oversee member retention, recruitment, evaluation, and data management systems design related to the program.

Who We’re Looking For�

Ideal Qualifications

  • A minimum of 3 to 5 years experience in complex program implementation, preferably in community organizing or direct services contexts.
  • Detail-oriented project manager with experience managing multiple, complex projects at once.
  • Understands and demonstrates knowledge of best practices in recruitment, retention, and Black Feminist culture-setting.
  • Excellent prioritization skills (i.e. understands the difference between what’s important, urgent and what is neither).
  • Advanced experience in facilitating retreats, workshops, and/or popular education trainings.
  • Experience supervising people in a way that acknowledges differentials in privilege and power, recognizes their gifts, encourages their confidence, supports their growth, and holds them accountable to standards and achieving collective goals.
  • Effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Track record as a collaborative leader.


  • Program manager extraordinaire. You believe in the power of an excellently designed and run program as a key avenue for social and personal change. You build air-tight plans, through your skill as an “if, then” thinker — mitigating risks of a plan failing by imagining and preparing for various scenarios, smart prioritization, and advance problem-solving. If things go wrong or when faced with an unforeseen complexity you draw on your professional experience and flexibility to come up with possibilities and motivate others.
  • Self-awareness is your superpower. Though you are already fully aligned with Essie’s Black Feminist values, you are committed to continuously deepening your commitment to that politic through study, openness, and humility. You easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power and are uncommonly eager to receive feedback.’
  • You’re very into root causes. You think about programmatic challenges from a big picture lens, wondering if what you observe is a symptom of a broader problem, and identifying possible patterns and system-based solutions to address it.
  • Tangible results matter. Yes, you’ve witnessed and love the impossible to define “magic” that happens inside of people-centered, community-run programs. However, you have a knack for strategically capturing the qualitative and quantitative results and are energized when driving towards pre-set goals.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along difficult journeys. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.You can lead from an authentic and calm place to help others feel confident, assured and hopeful that possibilities exist in the face of challenge or uncertainty.

The Position

The Healing to Advocacy Program Manager is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position leads the Healing to Advocacy Program and reports to the Director of Membership & Organizing. The salary for this position is between $82,000 – $86,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position can be based at either of Essie’s offices in Los Angeles or Oakland.

To Apply

Please address a thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal (https://essiejusticegroup.bamboohr.com/jobs) by the application deadline at midnight on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones; formerly incarcerated people; people of color; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, performance assessment, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

About Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group is a non profit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. Learn more at www.essiejusticegroup.org.

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