The Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) is a multidisciplinary center within the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF). Launched in 2015, the Institute complements LDF’s traditional litigation strengths, by arming LDF with dedicated support for three critical capabilities in the fight for racial justice: research, targeted advocacy campaigns, and organizing. The Institute also houses LDF’s Archives – a collection of materials chronicling the legal history of the Civil Rights Movement.
To successfully advance racial justice advocacy at the grassroots, LDF must be entrenched in communities, working at the local level to serve the broader, national civil rights agenda. The Thurgood Marshall Institute seeks an experienced Organizer for LDF’s Washington, D.C. office. The organizer will focus on issues related to education and voting in states in the South, where LDF has traditionally done much of its work. The organizer will also serve as a primary resource for LDF and TMI in responding to emergent crises that require supportive outreach and engagement that meets the needs of the communities LDF serves. This D.C. based position will expand the capacity of TMI’s existing team of three organizers based in New York City.
This position reports to LDF’s Senior Community Organizer. The organizer will work on a portfolio of civil rights and social justice matters overseen by the Director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute.
Identify local community leadership that can provide information and direction;
Provide technical support and training to local leaders and activists, particularly in crisis situations as part of LDF’s rapid response work;
Build LDF’s relationships with people who are most affected by the inequities of the public education system and targeted by voter suppression efforts, allowing advocacy efforts to be tailored to the real and expressed needs of those communities;
Plan, implement and coordinate successful community outreach and public education campaigns;
Develop and maintain relationships, partnerships, and coalitions of organizations, community members, community leaders, and public officials throughout the South, with a focus on communities experiencing heightened racial tensions;
Develop regional organization resource mapping guide to determine available skills and resources in select regions nationwide;
Value, highlight, and build the capacity of impacted communities to effectively organize initiatives to address racial discrimination;
Work to advance TMI’s reform strategies and other LDF priorities;
Actively center needs, concerns, and objectives of impacted communities in daily work;
Understand potential harms of visibility/media in carrying out effective organizing work;
Maintain constant engagement with TMI’s New York-based organizing team.
The ideal candidate will possess the following:
Five or more years of experience using mobilization as a tool for sustainable racial/social justice organizing;
Ability to understand and identify collective trauma experienced by communities in crisis while remaining mindful and focused on best practices to support these communities;
Experience executing de-escalation tactics;
A college degree or equivalent work experience;
A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and civil rights;
A demonstrated commitment to valuing, highlighting, and building the capacity of impacted communities to effectively organize initiatives to racial discrimination;
Willingness to travel extensively and spontaneously to both urban and rural areas in the United States;
Willingness to adhere to a fluid, dynamic, and sometimes demanding schedule;
Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to convey complex information effectively to a wide range of audiences of varying sizes;
A demonstrated ability to work in teams to plan, implement, and coordinate successful community outreach and public education campaigns;
A demonstrated ability to develop and maintain relationships, partnerships, with coalitions of organizations, community members/leaders, and public officials via the internet, in-person and telephone;
The integrity, professionalism, discretion, and sound judgment to handle sensitive, high-profile, legally privileged and otherwise confidential information in an appropriate manner;
The ability to work both in a team structure and independently, as needed;
Strong initiative and creative thinking; well-developed interpersonal skills with the ability to collaborate with diverse groups;
Excellent organizational skills;
A valid driver’s license.
MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIRED
HOW TO APPLY