Position: Fulltime Exempt (35 hours/week)
Division: Movement Building
Reports To: State Director, Minnesota
Supervision: Dedicated, Independent Consultants; Volunteer Advisory Dedicated,
Collaboration with: National Organizers and other organizers across the organization, State and National Policy teams
Location: Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota office, 555 Park Street, Suite 410, Saint Paul MN 55103
Time Commitment: Standard work week – Monday through Friday. Some evenings and weekends may be required.
The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive. CDF’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities
We serve and advocate for the largest, most diverse generation in America: the 74 million children and youth under the age of 18 and 30 million young adults under the age of 25, with particular attention to those living in poverty and communities of color. CDF partners with policymakers, aligned organizations and funders in this service. The Children’s Defense Fund is the only national, multi-issue advocacy organization working at the intersection of child well-being and racial justice by wielding the moral authority of programmatic proximity and community organizing to inform public policy. For more information visit www.childrensdefense.org.
The Organizer is a key member of the state offices teams, primarily responsible for supporting work to develop and implement strategies to engage, partner, and mobilize key constituencies and build strong support for policy work. This position will help further CDF’s articulated policy strategy: “This strategy calls for CDF to expand its efforts not just to advocate for a specific policy agenda, but to advance changes in various policy arenas to prioritize the voices of lived experience in policy making.” Each state has different policy areas they connect with and different constitutes that they engage.
Through relationship building, community organizing, engagement and mobilization, the Organizer will support movement building work to create systemic changes that will improve outcomes for children and families.
- Develop and deepen strategic partnerships with key coalitions and grassroots and direct service organizations to support movement building and story collection work.
- Support participation in city and county, community-led collaboratives through active participation in campaign development, youth engagement, coalition meetings, and actions
- Support the development of culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach materials and tool kits for campaigns and movement-building activities.
- Cultivate relationships with people who have personal experiences in faith-based communities, youth/Black Student Leadership Network of state and local colleges, Bridge to Benefits partners and families to help where possible, training them to get their experiences in front of decision makers, and moving them up the ‘ladder of engagement’ to become leaders and advocates in their communities.
- Identify and implement creative strategies to get advocates’ experiences in front of decision makers, such as through social media, media campaigns, and events.
- Incorporate the People/Base into advocacy activities such as candidate forums, legislative meetings, and rallies.
- Maintain knowledge of States Issues
- Educate and engage the community--particularly CDF Freedom Schools® scholars and families, around efforts to improve outcomes for children and youth with a focus on low-income youth of color, particularly around education, health and other issues as identified by CDF’s key constituents.
- Hold and facilitate a safe space for youth to engage in critical dialogue towards examining issues of oppression that exist within their communities.
- Train young people in organizing, including outreach, identifying, and researching issues, developing and implementing campaigns around both short- and long-term CDF issues, and carrying out direct actions.
- Identify and develop new campaigns to address youth-identified issues as they pertain to their communities (i.e. School Push-Out, policing, etc.)
- Participate on and contribute to the work of the CDF-MN Policy Team in developing and executing CDF-MN’s legislative agenda and advocacy strategy.
- Work closely with state and local coalition partners, as we develop framing vehicles to increase the profile of issues impacting children and youth throughout the state.
Education And/or Experience
- Required High School Diploma or Equivalent
- Minimum of 2 to 3 year of relevant experience in community organizing, political or issue-based campaigns, outreach and coalition building, and leading state or local coalitions.
- Demonstrated history of collaborating with diverse groups and impacted communities.
- Demonstrated ability to develop the leadership of others while exercising leadership as well.
- Commitment to and knowledge of the various issue areas the state covers, including health, immigration, and youth civic engagement.
- Passion for racial justice work that empowers children and families
- Passion for racial and social justice work that empowers youth and communities impacted by economic and health inequities.
- A personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance, and able to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with many different stakeholders and constituencies.
- Story collection, organizing, and mobilizing experience a plus.
- Spanish proficiency is a plus.
- Ability to meet people where they are at and cultivate supportive relationships with them.
- Strong writing and editing skills, as well as the ability to adopt the appropriate style, tone, and voice when working with Minnesotan’s experiences and stories.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in person and in writing with a variety of audiences.
- Ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with many different stakeholders and constituencies.
- Ability to facilitate trainings and hold space for different stakeholders and constituencies
- Proficiency with word processing programs including MS Outlook, Word, PowerPoint as well as familiarity with Excel, and remote working programs (MS Teams and Zoom).
- Aptitude for building positive working relationships both internally and externally.
- Ability to prioritize among multiple projects.
- Work well within teams.
- A “get it done,” results-driven, proactive attitude, capable of working independently and under pressure, ability to take initiative, set priorities, efficiently and effectively organize work, and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
- Demonstrated history of collaborating and working directly with people, groups and impacted communities from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Orientation to and background of servant leadership.
- Ability to serve as an advocate and exemplar for the vision, values, and mission of the Children’s Defense Fund.
- Demonstrated strong relational skills.
Type of Work Environment
- Indoor, office setting, some travel.
- We are committed to a healthy work-life balance. We are also committed to standing up for progress at times that may occur outside of regular business hours, so this person may sometimes have to work weekends and evenings.
Children's Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status, economic status, or status as an individual with a disability. Consideration will be given to qualified candidates on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.
Salary commensurate with experience. Attractive benefits package.
A background check and/or pre-employment assessments will be performed in compliance with local, state, and federal law on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.
Note: This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive list of all responsibilities required and does not restrict management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.
Questions regarding the role or position description may be submitted to Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.