National Organizing Director

Compensation: $95,000 – $115,000

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.

Building a sustainable grassroots institution that can be leveraged in the fight for a Black feminist future is a priority at Essie. Through the development of thoughtful organizing models, a vibrant 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 women with loved ones behind bars. After six years of honing our Healing to Advocacy organizing model that graduated over 200 women in 29 cohorts into our sisterhood and building an active member leadership structure across California, we are ready to launch the first national membership of women with incarcerated loved ones in the United States. We seek an exceptional leader to join our team and drive this effort to engage hundreds of thousands of women across the country.

The National Organizing Director is a new, senior-level team member who will be responsible for designing and launching a scaled organizing program that engages women with incarcerated loved ones as General Body Members in order to grow Essie’s base in size and power. Secondly, this Director will co-develop and implement the vision for Essie’s Champion Membership, incarcerated people who have nominated women to Essie’s Healing to Advocacy program. Thirdly the National Organizing Director will oversee and iterate the Essie Organizing Fellowship program, which trains members in a full-time 1-year fellowship as organizers, making full-time movement work accessible for those in our membership.

The National Organizing Director knows and loves the power of deep, relational organizing. But, what makes this person unique is that they passionately obsess over how to create the feeling of interpersonal organizing at scale – through smart strategy development, online engagements and rituals, training, technology and strategic toolkits that hundreds of thousands of people can access. Although likely possessing a background in the day-to-day work of deep member organizing, curricula building, and hands-on leadership development, the ideal candidate for this role currently finds their movement energy in program and network design; building and managing highly functional teams; and setting strategic priorities. The ideal candidate also has considerable strengths in utilizing technology, creative recruitment practices, other tools to reduce barriers for participation especially for Black and Brown women, trans and gender non conforming people, people who have disabilities, formerly incarcerated women, trans and GNC people, and people outside of California.

As a senior member of the organizational leadership, the National Organizing Director reports directly to the Executive Director and will help shape Essie’s present and future contributing to strategic decision making in the present while helping to architect Essie’s internal growth in alignment with our values. At Essie, how we win is as important as what we achieve, and our ideal National Organizing Director approaches Black Feminist organizational culture development and scaled organizing goals with equal rigor and commitment.

The start date for the National Organizing Director is April 5, 2021. The application deadline is midnight on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

Core Responsibilities

Expand the Breadth of Essie’s Membership: Design the membership strategy and launch two membership types at Essie that will grow our base beyond our program graduates alone and will incorporate incarcerated people and women, gnc, and trans women with incarcerated loved ones from other states.

  • Enlist members, staff, and stakeholders in a participatory process to clarify goals, unearth tradeoffs, and build the strategy for the development of the two new membership types envisioned, voted on, and passed by our current Members.
  • Develop and execute digital recruitment plans to motivate and mobilize women, trans, and gender nonconforming people across the country to join the General Body membership, including producing online public events that support other Essie organizing or campaign goals and contracting with designers to create branded materials and distribute them to new General Body members.
  • Collaborate with multiple staff and member stakeholders to co-design and facilitate online programming for building the General Body membership including rituals, structures, processes, branded materials, and technological tools for organizing at scale.
  • Develop a plan for the program launch of Essie’s Champion level of membership in 2022, including conducting outreach to all incarcerated nominators in Essie’s database and incarcerated people across the country with whom we have not yet engaged.
  • Oversee member retention, recruitment, evaluation, and data management systems design related to both membership types.
  • Uplift and advise on key questions that bring in new members via a new process for Essie, ensuring our values and commitment to member leadership remain central.

Organizing Fellows Program: Oversee the Essie Organizing Fellows Program and make recommendations for its expansion as a vehicle for training Essie members to become skilled organizers for the Black liberation, decarceration, and gender justice movements.

  • Develop and facilitate management and coaching structures focused on growing the skills and leadership practices of Essie Sisterhood Members who have been hired to join Essie’s team full time as fellows for a one-year fellowship program.
  • Collaborate with the campaigns and the membership staff teams to facilitate the work of the fellows in the day-to-day organizing projects at Essie.

Organizational Leadership: Serve on the Essie Directors’ Team in order to strategically steward organizational resources in alignment with Essie’s mission and vision.

  • Work collaboratively and consistently with other directors at Essie to define strategic priorities, make decisions about unanticipated opportunities, and manage to operational plan goals.
  • Develop departmental budgets and work systems, and build and manage a dynamic National Organizing staff team.
  • Establish and maintain sound stewardship of Essie’s National Organizing materials, intellectual property, and budget.
  • Hold external relationships necessary to run the overall National Organizing program successfully.
  • Lead in special projects as needed.
  • Embody and promote Essie’s Black Feminist culture and values internally and externally.

Who We’re Looking For

Ideal Qualifications

  • A minimum of 7 years experience in program design and implementation in community and/or distributed organizing contexts, preferably within network, affiliate, or chapter models.
  • Advanced experience in facilitating retreats, workshops, and/or popular education training, especially in the virtual/online space.
  • Meaningful experience (preferably at least 3 years) supervising multiple full time staff and experience supporting colleagues with direct experience of incarceration.
  • Significant 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.
  • Impeccable and effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Track record as a collaborative leader who excels in managing multiple projects, and is comfortable working in a fast-paced and non-traditional work environment.

Qualities

  • Experienced movement leader. Building people power at scale to usher in a fair and free future is your life’s work. From years of dedicated practice as a movement leader, you’ve developed an analysis of what is needed for transformative social change to occur and what is needed in existing liberation movements. You think constantly about how change happens and how that shows up in the people we organize, mentor, and manage. You have a refined ability to make sense of what feels confusing, and bring people along with you. And you may have such a collection of well-worn campaign and statement tees that your dresser drawers have become hard to close!
  • A sophisticated builder. You love helping people learn and grow, try new things, and think more deeply about their own potential for impact. In this way, you build the confidence of others and you build strong teams. But you are not satisfied with that alone, you care deeply about the tangibles of what those teams create. You are good at coming up with new models, programs, and structures and managing participatory creative processes. You employ numbers, SMART goals, and evaluative data because you connect to their pragmatic value, rather than an empty best practice.
  • Sees #Woke as a verb. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Values people, process, and results. You are an exceptionally hard worker. You thrive in inspiring environments in which stuff gets done with speed, great impact, and focus.
  • Discernment and honesty we can trust. You are a thoughtful team member who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy. You earn rather than demand the trust of people by listening and making decisions thoughtfully.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

The Position

The National Organizing Director is full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Executive Director. The salary for this position is between $95,000-115,000 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 is based in one of Essie’s offices in Oakland or Los Angeles, California.

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).

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.