Research and Policy Community Organizer
POSITION: Community Organizer
REPORTS TO: Field Director, Monica Acosta
BACKGROUND: Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is a multi-issue organization led by people of color who work for racial and health justice, educational equity, and immigrant rights. Our parents and youth members work together to organize in their communities to challenge the root cause of discrimination, racism and inequity by exposing the economic, social and institutional basis for injustice as well as developing effective strategies to realize meaningful change.
Padres Unidos was formed in 1992 by a group of parents who joined forces to remove the principal at Denver’s Valverde Elementary School who was punishing Spanish-speaking students by forcing them to eat lunch on the cafeteria floor. Their win propelled their organizing forward taking on other racist practices throughout the district. Jóvenes Unidos, the student branch of Padres Unidos, was formed in 2000 when youth came together to turnaround their school, Cole Middle School, which at the time was the state’s lowest performing middle school. Since then, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos has evolved into a racial justice multi-issue organization whose historic wins, rooted in members’ demands to achieve institutional change, have gained local and national recognition.
OVERVIEW OF POSITION: Working in tandem with the Directors Team, the Community Organizer is part of a Field Team responsible for developing, planning and executing effective organizing strategies in the field (target schools, neighborhoods and communities) in order to secure local and state-wide campaign wins. Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is an inter-generational, multi-lingual organization with a strong membership base in Southwest Denver. We are seeking an experienced, tenacious and revolutionary bilingual (Spanish and English) organizer able to immediate leap into our current campaign work.
- Develop and execute comprehensive campaign plans and individual work plans that include the following components: base-building, leadership development, participatory research, direct action and strategic communications.
- Conduct on-going cold outreach and recruitment in order to maintain a strong base through one-on-ones, house meetings, door-knocking, presentations, tableling and flyering.
- Build and sustain a strong base of parents, youth and community members that is strategically activated and mobilized to push campaign goals forward.
- Develop and lead a cadre of parent and/or youth leaders by developing the leadership, organizing skills and political consciousness of members through formal and informal group training and one-on-one coaching and mentoring.
- Develop and run programming that successfully combines political education, organizing theory and field work.
- Initiate and oversee current and/or new school sites, including the development and management of key relationships with school and district administrators.
- Plan, coordinate and lead organizational activities including: membership meetings, community meetings, direct actions to pressure targets and accountability sessions to hold public officials accountable to the community.
- Represent Padres & Jóvenes Unidos in the broader community.
- As needed, collaborate with allies, partner organizations, elected officials and institutions.
- Maintain strong records that document the organizer’s individual work, including: database of contacts with all relevant information such as member profiles; follow-up trackers; turnout trackers; reflections; debrief notes; meeting notes; etc.
- Strong political alignment and passionate belief in the mission of Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, which allows organizers to speak to systemic racism and oppression as the root cause of racial, economic and gender disparities in the U.S. This foundation is necessary in order for organizers to raise the political consciousness and awareness of our base and the community at-large.
- Strong philosophical alignment and commitment to the Padres & Jóvenes Unidos theory of change and organizing model in which organizers bring those most impacted – working class and people of color – to the forefront of the organizing: developing and executing strategies that build people power; confronting and negotiating with decision-makers to shift power in order to win institutional change; and in the process, build the organization.
- Ability to apply a successful track record of a minimum of 2 years of community organizing experience. School and education-based community organizing a plus. Deep understanding of local educational and political landscapes also a plus.
- Bilingual (Spanish and English).
- Excellent interpersonal, communication and relationship-building skills.
- Ability to identify gaps, set priorities and develop work plans that move forward complex campaigns in line with organizational strategic priorities, direction and goals.
- Self-motivated and flexible with the ability to respond appropriately and with a sense of urgency to unknown and rapidly changing political conditions and overcome challenges in a fast-paced environment.
- Growth-mindset: Humility and willingness to learn and grow; tendency to remain self-aware; ability to self-reflect and evaluate his/her/their own practice as well as our collective work; seek and implement feedback given, as well as provide feedback to fellow team members; set and hold high expectations for self and others.
- Ability to collaborate and be part of a team, as well as work independently, take initiative, self-direct and maintain ownership of individual area of work.
- Contribute to a strong internal staff culture through camaraderie, collaboration and leadership.
- Basic level of proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Apps.
- Strong planning and time-management skills.
- Ability to work evenings and weekends.
- Reliable car, valid driver’s license and car insurance.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Salary is based on experience. We offer a comprehensive benefits package.
How to ApplyTO APPLY: Email resume and cover letter to Courtney Flores, our Operations Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please address the following in your cover letter:
- Your interest and commitment to grassroots community organizing as a strategy to achieve social justice; and
- What interest you/resonates with you the most about working with Padres & Jóvenes Unidos?
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