Civil Rights Community Organizer

Job Title: Civil Rights Community Organizer
Organization: Vocal NY

Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) is a statewide grassroots membership organization building power among low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, the drug war and mass incarceration, along with the organizations that serve us, to create healthy and just communities. We accomplish this through community organizing, leadership development, public education, participatory research and direct action.

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Position Description

VOCAL-NY is seeking a talented individual interested in creating grassroots political power as part of a dynamic team. The community organizer will support leadership development, community empowerment and civic engagement among low-income people who are impacted by mass incarceration, and promote their participation in planning and policymaking that affects their lives. Examples of active campaigns include:

  • Ending biased policing practices like Stop & Frisk and zero-tolerance policies
  • Removing barriers to employment for people with criminal records
  • Decriminalizing marijuana and ending racially biased arrests for low-level marijuana possession

Job activities are varied and may include: community outreach; mobilization; leadership development; base-building; event coordination; monitoring the implementation of legislation; data collection and analysis; communications and media outreach; and creating public education and advocacy materials. Some administrative tasks (e.g. phone calls, data entry) are assigned as needed.

Job Responsibilities

  • Membership recruitment: Conduct base building activities and achieve targeted membership recruitment goals, especially through outreach at youth, Alternative-to-Incarceration, and re-entry programs, court houses, and other venues as directed.
  • Leadership development: Conduct trainings that build the knowledge and skills of people who are impacted by mass incarceration to participate in planning and policymaking that affects their lives, as well as Know Your Rights trainings.
  • Issue ID and campaign coordination: Assist members in identifying advocacy issues, developing advocacy strategy and implementation.
  • Mobilization: Turn out large numbers of members to rallies, meetings and other events through mass phone banking and relationship-building,
  • Phone-banking: In addition to directly phone-banking, the position will coordinate phone-banking for members.
  • Membership meetings: Convene regular membership meetings and smaller campaign/committee meetings.
  • Database: Record and input data into our community organizing database.
  • Support: The position will also be expected to provide support for all community organizing and campaigns around the drug war, mass incarceration and HIV/AIDS within VOCAL-NY as needed. We have a highly collaborative office environment where staff members provide regular support for each other’s campaigns, which is in part a function of our limited resources and ambitious scope of work.


The salary range will be commensurate with experience. VOCAL-NY offers a generous benefits package of twenty days of paid vacation, 100% employer-covered health and dental insurance plan, and 403(b) retirement plan.


The ideal candidate will be an energetic, self-motivated individual who has strong inter-personal, public speaking and problem solving skills. Candidates must demonstrate interest in criminal justice and drug policy reform and a willingness to approach these issues through a racial justice analysis. Candidates must have at least two years of experience in community organizing and/or related fields – campaign experiences is a plus. Interest in working as a member of a team and in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential. Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email, word processing (e.g. Microsoft Word) and spreadsheets (e.g. Excel) programs are required.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter, résumé and a brief (2-4 page) writing sample to Alyssa Aguilera, In the subject line, please put “Civil Rights Community Organizer [Your Name]”. No phone calls please.

VOCAL-NY is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, people who are LGBTQ and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the criminal justice system and the war on drugs.

The position will remain open until filled.

Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted

Last Updated on December 17, 2017 by HepFree NYC


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