BACKGROUND AND MISSION
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity.
For 30 years, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago (“Advancing Justice | Chicago”) has worked to bring together the Asian American community and create change in our communities. We are deeply committed to grassroots community organizing and we invest in the leadership of grassroots community members through trainings, community education, civic engagement, and collaborative issue-based campaigns. In order to strengthen our work and transform the inequities in our city, state, and Midwest region, we work with multiracial coalitions that emphasize racial equity, accountability to those most impacted, and an infrastructure of grassroots leadership. Our advocacy work focuses on promoting racial, economic, and immigrant justice, including initiatives in the areas of voting rights, language access, education equity, criminal justice, and immigrant rights.
As part of the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation, Advancing Justice | Chicago is a leader in the nationwide Asian American movement. Regionally, Advancing Justice | Chicago is prioritizing the Midwest region and collaborating with partners across Midwestern states to tackle common struggles and build collective power.
Asian American Midwest Progressives builds political power through collective advocacy and electoral organizing to achieve racial equity.
Founded in December 2018, Asian American Midwest Progressives (AAMP) endorses progressive candidates, mobilizes Asian American voters, and holds elected officials accountable through issue-based campaigns. Currently, AAMP organizes in Illinois and Ohio.
The Community Organizer position is an opportunity for a strategic and motivated relationship-builder to build power with youth (ages 15-25) in the Asian American community, develop grassroots leadership, lead strategic issue campaigns, and move community members to take action.
This position will fall under the staff sharing agreement between Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives (AAMP) so a portion of time will be spent on 501(c)(4) activities including partisan electoral work.
Key Advancing Justice | Chicago Responsibilities:
- Develop grassroots, Asian American youth leaders who want to build power, work on issue campaigns, and advance racial equity; prioritize recruiting and developing immigrant, refugee, and working class Asian American student leaders in Chicago Public Schools and colleges/universities in Chicagoland;
- Organize youth leaders and community members to take action on our key issue areas such as education equity and immigrant justice (e.g. supporting them to use tactics such as meeting with elected officials, public education, direct actions and more);
- Organize in-person and virtual events, workshops, and trainings;
- Represent Advancing Justice | Chicago in coalition spaces and contribute to coalition-led issue-based campaigns, primarily around education equity;
- Staff Advancing Justice | Chicago’s A Just Chi base’s new member & recruitment working group, including mentoring volunteer core leaders and working to create pathways for new leaders to join issue working groups and become active members with the organization;
- Engage a broader base of individuals through digital outreach (e.g., SMS/texting outreach, emails, social media, etc.);
- Complete database updates, reimbursement request forms, timesheets, and other administrative tasks as they pertain to the work;
- Assist development staff in program-related fundraising;
- Collaborate with other staff on organization-wide initiatives.
Key Asian American Midwest Progressives Responsibilities:
- Develop grassroots youth leaders to build political power through electoral organizing;
- Organize canvasses, phonebanks, and other voter outreach and field work targeting high school- and college-age voters and youth leaders.
- You have at least 1 cumulative year of experience in issue-based campaigns and/or electoral organizing as a staff member or volunteer and have gained skills and experience in:
- Base-building by recruiting leaders through various methods (hosting or attending events, leading phone/canvass outreach etc.), conducting 1-1 meetings, and moving them up a ladder of engagement;
- Planning/leading a significant piece of an issue and/or electoral campaign (field strategy, lobbying/legislative strategy, mobilizing grassroots leaders, research meetings etc.)
- Partisan and/or non-partisan outreach to voters and community members through phone-banks, door-to-door canvasses, and/or text-banks;
- Engaging government officials and decision-makers to educate them on issues and/or lobbying them to support a particular bill;
- You understand the fundamentals of organizing and that your role as an organizer is to find, develop, and support leaders in taking collective action to achieve structural change on issues that affect their lives;
- You are detail oriented and have excellent organizational, time management and project management skills; you can handle multiple priorities, keep projects moving, make sure things don’t slip through the cracks, respond to email and other communications in a timely manner, and meet deadlines;
- You are a clear, effective, and empathetic communicator and have excellent written and verbal communication skills whether writing an internal email or giving a presentation; you can speak clearly on behalf of the organization and support community members in doing the same;
- You are deeply committed to self-reflection, growth mindset, accountability, and navigating conflict directly and compassionately; you understand that self-awareness, personal healing and transformation are critical to movement work;
- You are deeply committed to social justice, racial equity, and civil rights; you recognize how race, class, gender, immigration status, and other identities impact different communities, and you see how your own identities show up in the work;
- You have a proven track record of building strong relationships and serious appetite for meeting new people whether by going door-to-door or making calls and want to meet people where they are at to bring them into the work;
- You have strong self-starting work habits that demonstrate creativity, initiative, and mission-orientation; you make things happen in alignment with your work plan and responsibilities while also being open to receiving direction;
- You want to learn new skills and welcome coaching, training, and feedback;
- You know community organizing work is ever evolving and are open and willing to adapt and respond to changing environments;
- You can be flexible in working hours, including working some evenings and weekends, to meet community members when they are available (compensatory time is offered for evening and weekend work);
- You are proficient in online platforms and work tools such as Zoom, Google Drive, and Microsoft 365/Microsoft Office Suite;
Experience with any of the following is helpful but not required:
- Working in Asian American or immigrant communities;
- Leading trainings on community organizing principles or skills;
- Issue area expertise around education equity and immigrant justice;
- Working for elected officials or in government in another capacity;
- Bilingual in English and an Asian language.
Exempt, full-time position. The starting salary range for the Community Organizer position is $50,000 – $60,000 based on experience. Advancing Justice | Chicago offers a generous full benefits package. This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit and is subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between Advancing Justice | Chicago and the Chicago News Guild.
INQUIRY AND APPLICATION PROCESS
Applications should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- Letter of interest/cover letter
- 2 references (please include name, title, relationship, email address, and phone number)
Please include “Community Organizer” in the subject line of your email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but applications received by Sunday, September 10th will be prioritized.
Note: Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Advancing Justice | Chicago staff are currently working in-person at our Uptown office at least two days a week, with optional remote work for three days a week, which is subject to change. If you are invited for an interview, the interview may be held in person or over video conference.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, height, weight, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or domestic partner status, or religious affiliation.