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Become an Organizer with A+ Schools

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We’re hiring! If you’re interested in joining our team, please read the job description below (or click here to download PDF) and follow the instructions included to apply.


 

Announcement of Open Position
Community Organizer

A+ Schools – Pittsburgh’s independent community advocate for equity and excellence in public education – is seeking a highly productive, strategic, and experienced individual to join our team of dedicated, mission-driven professionals.

The Organization

A+ Schools is an independent community advocate for equity and excellence in public education in Pittsburgh. We envision a public education system in Pittsburgh where:

  • Overall student achievement continues to rise, with 100% of students graduating, and 80% finishing a training program, 2 year or 4 year university program, and
  • Race is not a factor in determining which students: are in the highest and lowest achievement categories, graduate from high school or matriculate in training programs or colleges and universities.

A+ Schools’ purpose is to be a community force advancing the highest educational achievement and character development for every public school student. We choose to specifically focus on issues of educational equity because significant barriers exist that directly and indirectly deny groups of students a high quality education. To achieve educational equity in Pittsburgh Public Schools must enact policies and practices that specifically increase opportunities and resources for African American students.

Our work focuses community attention on the specific issues at hand through research and policy analysis; explicitly engages and elevates community voices from the communities most at risk; creates opportunities at multiple levels of engagement for citizens to get involved in removing barriers to student success; and seeks to build broad community will to advance change in the public education system.

One of the major goals of our current strategic plan is to build a sizable community of parents and students with the power, skill and knowledge to organize others to ensure African American students receive the education they deserve. Key to reaching that goal is the grassroots work of community organizers.

Summary of Position

The Community Organizer is responsible for building, managing, and mobilizing adult networks to improve public education in Pittsburgh. This position requires passion for social justice, a learning mind set, strong relationship orientation and a strong generalist skill set. Organizers spend the majority of their time in the community while working on several projects at once, so the position requires someone with high energy and effective time management. This position is a key member of the organizing team and works collaboratively with others in A+ Schools including both staff and board members to execute the current strategic plan. 

Reporting Relationship

The Community Organizer reports to and is evaluated by the Director of Community Engagement and Strategy.

Essential Functions

Community Organizing:

  • Building and managing an engaged base of parent and community ambassadors and members by:
    • Building relationships with individuals in the community, recruiting parents and community members to serve as ambassadors, public speaking, participating in campaign
  • Developing leadership of ambassadors by:
    • Training and coaching, facilitating meetings, and creating opportunities for growth and ownership
  • Initiating and leading campaigns by:
    • Strategic thinking and planning, issue identification, coalition building, building mobilization plan with ambassadors, developing ambassadors as campaign leaders, mobilizing parents and community members

Community Engagement:

  • Delivering information to the community that is accurate, based on research, compelling and easy to understand
  • Being familiar and able to discuss current educational issues
  • Recruiting community members to act on issues through petition drives, canvassing, public testimony, letter writing campaigns and other such means.
  • Facilitating meetings with the community and making presentations to community and familygroups.
  • Developing community relationships for the promotion of A+ Schools mission
  • Represent A+ Schools in public and at community meetings. 

Administrative:

  • Completing weekly organizer reports
  • Updating contacts and records regularly in Salesforce, the contact database used by A+ Schools
  • Participating in the development and execution of other A+ Schools programs
  • Managing budgets as needed
  • Assisting with other work deemed necessary to accomplish the mission of A+ Schools as directed by the Executive Director.
  • Providing staff support to A+ Schools’ various program committees
  • Attending Board meetings and work with the Board of Directors as needed

Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree or at least three years of relevant experience
  • A passion for education and social justice
  • A track record of dedication and the attitude to do what it takes to succeed
  • Successful experience working with groups through processes such as facilitation, consensus building and problem solving
  • A comfort level with being in the spotlight, but not having the spotlight be about them; rather it being about the larger education issues and relevant concerns
  • A respect for and comfort level with rigorous and healthy debate about issues
  • A desire to continually learn, and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment

Skills

  • Demonstrated organizational skills with project management
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with diverse populations and a “can-do” team player attitude
  • Analysis and synthesis skills, including the ability to collect information, determine key objectives, and act strategically
  • Excellent communication skills, including verbal, written and public speaking
  • Coalition building skills, including the ability to motivate, negotiate, and persuade stakeholders into a course of action
  • Demonstrated skills in community organizing such as identifying actionable issues within a larger problem, building the leadership of others, mobilizing groups of people and choosing when to follow 

Interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume to newopportunities@aplusschools.org by no later than September 5th 2014. Please use your cover letter to describe what aspect of the job interests you the most and demonstrate your ability to be persuasive.