The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has been transformative–to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
LDF’s litigation, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education programs in the substantive areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just criminal legal system. It is our belief and experience that advocacy outside the courtroom – specifically, community organizing – is a particularly critical component of any effort to achieve sustained and comprehensive racial justice. LDF’s Community Organizing Department supports Black communities in challenging racial discrimination within the intersections of educational, criminal justice, political participation and economic justice.
LDF seeks a dynamic and innovative individual to serve as Director of Community Organizer. The Director of Community Organizing will report to the Associate Director Counsel and will be responsible for leading the national work of the community organizing team.
- Help build LDF’s relationship with communities nationwide most impacted by racial discrimination so that LDF’s advocacy efforts will be tailored to the real and expressed needs of the community;
- Engage as thought-partner with other program staff, including LDF’s litigation, policy, and TMI teams, to inform our broader programmatic work, strategy and community engagement;
- Work in conjunction with directors of litigation, policy, communications, and other identified staff on projects, cases and initiatives to advance the collective work and mission of LDF;
- Provide regularly scheduled updates to LDF’s legal staff of ongoing organizing work as well as national organizing landscape;
- Supervise and oversee the work of the Deputy Director of Community Organizing and a growing staff of community organizers;
- Work with the Deputy Director of Community Organizing to develop an organizing department strategic plan and create deliverables, timelines, and workplans to advance the implementation of the plan;
- Propose and manage the department’s budget and spending;
- Assist with developing the skill sets of the full organizing team;
- Extensive travel to both urban and rural areas in the United States is required; and
- Other responsibilities as assigned.
- Minimum of eight or more years of experience leading community organizing initiatives and campaigns that advance racial justice and reforms to public systems; national organizing experience is strongly preferred;
- Experience supervising and managing staff, including developing workplans, providing feedback and guidance, and seeking and offering staff opportunities for professional development;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to convey complex information effectively to a wide range of audiences;
- A demonstrated capacity to plan, implement, coordinate, and evaluate a broad range of successful campaigns; ability to engage through digital organizing is a plus;
- The ability to develop and maintain relationships, partnerships, and coalitions of organizations, community members/leaders, and public officials at the local, state and national levels;
- Ability to design trainings and workshops that will be conducted by organizing team to develop the capacity of community members;
- Professionalism, discretion, and sound judgment to handle sensitive, high-profile, legally privileged and otherwise confidential information in an appropriate manner;
- Experience managing departmental budget and spending;
- A demonstrated ability to work both in a team structure and independently, as required by different circumstances;
- Experience leading, developing and supervising staff;
- Ability to represent LDF and the Community Organizing Department in local and national convenings;
- Ability to coordinate local and national gatherings and convenings;
- Strong initiative and creative thinking;
- Well-developed interpersonal skills with the ability to collaborate with diverse groups;
- A demonstrated ability to adhere to a flexible and sometimes demanding schedule;
- Willingness to travel extensively to both urban and rural areas in the United States; and
- A valid driver’s license.