Education Justice Project Director/Lead Organizer

Core Purpose

To advance the goals and program activities of the Communities for Our Colleges, a project of the Alliance for a Just Society (AJS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Background

Communities for Our Colleges (C4C) is a BIPOC student-led multi-stakeholder coalition that brings together students, faculty, staff, unions, community members, and administrators to make the state’s community and technical colleges (CTCs) more affordable, more welcoming and supportive, and more racially equitable. Over the past year, C4C led a successful campaign to win historic investment in CTCs, including the requirement that CTCs develop racial equity plans.

C4C began organizing on CTC campuses around the state as the COVID-19 pandemic began to emerge. As we built our base of student leaders, we asked them to identify both how the pandemic was affecting them and what pre-existing structural issues hurt their ability to complete their studies. In addition to pandemic-related challenges, students spoke of persistent obstacles to degree completion, whether financial hurdles (including barriers to financial aid for undocumented students) or lack of diverse faculty and staff.

Together, the students assessed these challenges and developed a set of recommendations geared toward creating a more welcoming, anti-racist environment on CTCs and making CTCs easier for students to navigate and afford. Students shared their assessment with the broader stakeholder coalition and pursued the idea of centering racial equity in each of the college’s yearly strategic plans. Together students and coalition members campaigned to change state law and work on campuses to address barriers to student success.

These recommendations are now state law. This development reflects C4C student leaders’ tireless campaigning alongside their professors, community supporters, and others, which put these investments on the agenda in Olympia (SB 5195 and HB 1840).

Responsibilities

The Education Justice Project Director/Lead Organizer has principal responsibility for working with the AJS staff team to develop and implement programs to support the goals of the Communities for Our Colleges campaign. This will include working to support a coalition table in WA state, building a base of key stakeholders, and directly organizing students as a constituency.

Education Justice Project Director/Lead Organizer will recruit, retain, and support a diverse set of partners in WA state in support of Communities for Our Colleges. Our partners include students, faculty, and staff of community colleges, businesses, labor unions, civil rights organizations etc. to advance our messages and goals. These partners will be at the core of the campaign’s strategy development and the implementation of campaign actions and activities.

Key responsibilities include: 

Leadership: Ensures Project Director/ Lead Organizer builds a statewide coalition, and staff with a long-range strategy synced with its mission and a unifying vision, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress; creates space to identify and explore new ideas and opportunities. Ensures programs, fundraising and operations are aligned with the mission and long-range strategy. Leads annual and strategic project planning. 

Statewide Coalition: Recruits, retains and supports a diverse and skilled State Coalition; which will be central to prioritizing issues, creating strategic campaign and communication plans, and supporting fundraising efforts. 

Organizational Relationships: Serves as ambassador, spokesperson, and face of Alliance for a Just Society with other institutions and the general public; Develops and maintains relationships with key allies, elected officials, and decision-makers. 

Administration: Ensures the organizational, operational, legal and financial health and effectiveness of the campaign. Works closely with fiscal sponsors on administration as outlined in the fiscal sponsorship agreement. This includes: maintaining the grant and fundraising files, overseeing the timely submission of all staff receipts, doing monthly meetings to review cash flow, event needs and review financial statements and implementation of the budgeting process. In addition, providing the AJS team information necessary for the timely submission of its 990 tax form. 

Fundraising: Develops and maintains a diverse and sustainable funding base; establishes and maintains relationships with funders and donors; cultivates new funding sources including grassroots funding; ensures that grant commitments are met; and effectively collaborates with partner organizations in joint fundraising. 

Staff Development: As resources are developed, attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality people with a commitment to racial, economic, gender justice and public education; ensure that staff members receive the evaluation, training, support, supervision and leadership development that they need to succeed; and divides and assigns work effectively. A key component of the staffing plan will include the recruitment of stipended students at public education institutions to do base building and outreach, work on campus-based equity initiatives and mobilize for policy campaigns.

Communications: The Education Justice Project Director/ Lead Organizer will work with local organizations and allies to align messages and materials with our narrative priorities. To develop campaign model materials and work with local groups to modify them as needed, always working to advance our campaign narrative priorities.

Qualifications

All candidates should have proven leadership and organizing experience; strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills; and passion, integrity, and self-directedness. The preferred candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree or equivalent work experience in the field of public higher education;
  • Extensive organizing experience with a demonstrated ability to mobilize communities to win campaigns and develop activists into leaders;
  • A demonstrated ability to engage and develop relationships with a diverse population of stakeholders;
  • Successful fundraising experience, preferably for non-profit advocacy organizations;
  • Ability to effectively lead a non-profit organization, supervise staff, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget;
  • Demonstrated success organizing students and/or youth;
  • Past experience working with a nonprofit Board;

Salary and Benefits

Total compensation will start at $65-75,000, commensurate with experience. Total compensation will be divided between salary and benefits as best suits the successful candidate. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and names/contact information of three references to leeann@juststrategy.org.

We will only accept applications electronically. Please contact LeeAnn Hall at the Alliance for a Just Society by texting 206-890-2208 or emailing leeann@juststrategy.org

The Alliance for a Just Society is an equal opportunity employer. All persons regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sex, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation are encouraged to apply. Women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ people are strongly encouraged to apply.

Starting date: February 21, 2022