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Are you passionate about building a movement to make sure every student in the Bay Area has a world-class public school? Join us as a community organizer in San Jose to find, train and coach parents leaders so they can advocate effectively for more high-quality public schools in the Bay Area. Reports to Director of Organizing, Silicon Valley.
About Innovate Public Schools
Innovate Public Schools is a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring that all Bay Area students, including low-income students and students of color, receive an excellent education. We’re building a movement of families, educators, and business and elected leaders who together will make this vision a reality. We build the capacity of parents and educators to innovate and act together to create world-class public schools, and we publish easy-to-understand school quality data and research that highlights both problems and solutions.
Innovate Public Schools supports parents across the region to build powerful community organizations in their local communities that can successfully push for better schools and hold the system accountable to the needs of families and children. Innovate leads a network of grassroots community organizations led by passionate parent leaders from across the Bay Area in Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
About the Position
As an Innovate community organizer in San Jose, you will work alongside of the most veteran community organizing staff in the country, including professional organizers who have built successful low-income, volunteer-driven education reform efforts throughout California. This is a full-time / exempt position.
We offer a highly competitive salary and benefits package. Annual salary range begins at $63,000 and is dependent on the candidate’s experience.
Work Environment / Physical Demands
The work environment characteristics and the physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while successfully performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
Identify, train and develop community leaders in the principles and practices of community organizing in order to build powerful parent-driven organizations affiliated with Innovate Public Schools
Develop and manage relationships with a broad base of constituents from targeted neighborhoods (including faith-based institutions, public officials, local government agencies, social service agencies, teachers and school leaders), and build their support for the reform efforts of Innovate’s affiliated parent organizations.
Conduct at least 15 one-to-one visits with parents and community members every week
Over time, build and manage multiple parent organizations that drive local school reform work and bring new community leadership to communities in San Francisco or Santa Clara / San Mateo Counties
Plan and coordinate large public forums and meetings, led by parent leaders
Participate in local, regional and national staff development sessions with organization partners
Participate in fundraising and administrative activities as required
Extensive formal training in community organizing through participation in Innovate’s national, year-long Community Organizer Training Program (COTP)
Membership in a national cohort community of organizers through the COTP, with the opportunity to learn from and share with others in your field
Weekly coaching and development from veteran organizing team members and national experts in the field
Learning about latest changes in education policies and cutting edge practices in designing new, world-class schools through collaboration with experts on Innovate’s other teams
Sample "Week-in-the-Life" of a Community Organizer
Meet 1-1 with one of your parent leaders to strategize about the next steps in your campaign to expand educational options in the district
Prepare and then support your team of 15 parent leaders as they hold their first meeting with the local superintendent about the district's plans to improve outcomes for low-income students
Meet with Innovate's Research and Policy Team to plan a powerful presentation on achievement gap data for a local congregation
Role-play your upcoming training on power and leadership for the organizing team and receive feedback from your colleagues
Train a parent to chair a meeting with her local school board president, and coach her to think through the appropriate tone and level of challenge the group should bring to the board member about their issue
Make calls to invite parents to attend an upcoming meeting and schedule 1-1 visits with them for the next week
Meet with your supervisor to evaluate your previous parent leader team meeting
Schedule a 1-1 with a local nonprofit leader to learn more about their work with families and the changing political environment in local cities
Read and reflect on a classic organizing text, like Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals
Baccalaureate degree or equivalent work experience
Proficiency in Spanish
Work experience in low-income communities
Demonstrated experience in community organizing or advocacy work (paid or voluntary)
Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships with diverse stakeholders and communities
Ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively, including speaking in small and large group settings
Strong strategic thinking skills and an ability to analyze policies and institutions
Experience with and sensitivity to multicultural work environments
Willingness to work as member of and contribute to a team in a dynamic, learning environment
Passion for creating more high-quality school options for working families
Eagerness to learn and apply Innovate’s approach to community organizing
A valid driver's license and reliable, insured vehicle (needed to fulfill job requirements)
Proof of eligibility to work in the United States
Ability to work frequent evening meetings (average 3-4 per week) and some weekends
Two to five years of professional community organizing or community development experience
Understanding of the education reform landscape
Academic or experiential knowledge related to building social capital and political power in low-income and multilingual communities
Skills as a trainer with specialized knowledge in grassroots leadership development, political context, public policy development, and/or public education
Experience developing and supporting public policy solutions to local or regional problems
Experience working with African American and/or Latino communities
Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and what you would bring to Innovate Public Schools, as well as a copy of your most recent resume.
Start date: ASAP
Application deadline: open until filled.
Innovate Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer, and takes pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.