Full-time Youth Organizer/Trainer Position
Communities United is a grassroots, membership organization of low to moderate income individuals and families in Maryland. Our mission is leadership development and community organizing that builds power to win transformative change for social, economic, and racial justice. Our current organizing focuses on ex-offender enfranchisement and quality of life, expansion of sustainable public community schools, effective approaches to addiction that reduce harm and support recovery, reducing violence and promoting trauma-informed policies and resilience in Baltimore, and confronting horrible housing conditions low income residents suffer in Baltimore.
In recent years, CU led campaigns that expanded voting rights to all citizens on release from prison in Maryland and won increasing funding to expand community schools and universal rental licensing in Baltimore. We also organized women in public housing to bring a successful civil suit to redress sexual abuse, specifically demands for sex from maintenance workers for repairs in their homes. And CU helped launch and lead collaborations in West Baltimore seeking to heal trauma and end violence.
The Youth Organizing Leadership Academy is a six month program for youth 15-24, teaching basic community organizing skills, building from participants' own lived experience, to provide hope, energy, and vision to lead change for social justice within their own communities. At the same time, YOLA will teach key life skills, including job readiness, social/emotional coping skills, tools and and pathways to career and/or college, community connections, financial literacy and more. Youth will be exposed to opportunities to become professional organizers, including presentations from and mock interviews with union and other professional organizers. All YOLA participants will be encouraged and supported in completing a Youthworks application for summer employment with Communities United and potentially other social change organizations. Communities United plans to hire a few of our most successful YOLA students to be peer leaders of our 2019 Summer Youth Organizing Cohort and YOLA in a second (2019-20) academic year.
Job Title: Youth Organizer-Trainer
Location: Baltimore City
CU organizers are responsible for engagement, activation, development and retention of members, developing a team of leaders and executing issue and/or infrastructure building campaigns. Organizer responsibilities include:
Planning and day-to-day management of CU’s Youth Organizing Leadership Academy (YOLA), based at Renaissance Academy, with primary responsibility for meeting scope of work deliverables outlined in 2018-19 grant for this work.
Planning and day-to-day management of CU’s 2019 Summer Youth Organizing Cohort (with Youthworks students).
Ongoing outreach and recruitment of new CU members, particularly youth members.
Building one-on-one relationships with youth and community members.
Developing leadership of all members that builds their capacity to lead campaigns, including speaking to the media, organizing and facilitating meetings, leading public actions and events, and recruiting and leading CU members.
Developing political consciousness and strategic abilities of CU leaders through popular education, reflection, and developing appropriate educational materials.
Building a Communities United youth chapter.
Researching and building movement relationships on issues pertaining to campaigns;
Communicating campaign messages clearly, both verbally and in writing.
Exercising strategic judgment and problem-solving skills.
Organization of self and materials to meet responsibilities.
Pitching in and working with a diverse team of staff and members.
Use of social media to enhance community organizing.
To be successful, organizers must have commitment to social, racial and economic justice and believe that those directly affect by issues of injustice must be at the forefront of efforts to change them. Organizing is a practice, and success requires dedication to all aspects of it to be successful – recruitment, leadership development, mobilization and reflection. Qualified candidates will have:
Experience working with youth ages 14-21.
Organizing experience (labor, community, issue campaign or election related) preferred.
Understanding of issues facing low income communities of color.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Excellent organizational skills – good attention to detail and well organized.
Self-motivation – a proven ability to work independently.
Patience and ability to work well with diverse groups and populations.
Dedication and ability to work flexible hours, including some nights and weekends.
Spanish/English bilingual a plus.
Ability to be a team player and work in a highly collaborative, fast-paced environment
A valid driver's license with regular access to a vehicle.