Associate Director Of Campaigns

Campaigns & Advocacy · Oakland/Los Angeles, California
Department Campaigns & Advocacy
Employment Type Full-Time
Compensation $100,000 - $110,000

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved onesand include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender non-conforming (gnc) people, elders, and young people. 

Building a sustainable grassroots institution that can be leveraged in the fight for a Black Feminist future is a priority at Essie. Through the development of thoughtful organizing models, a vibrant organizational culture, and scalable structure our aim is to break the isolation of the 1 in 4 women who have loved ones behind bars and sustain bold decarceration advocacy through the leadership of women with loved ones behind bars. For the past seven years, we have been building an active membership across California and at the national level, led in the development of the transformative policy solutions including the  Movement for Black Lives's BREATHE Act last year. Now, Essie is waging ever more ambitious campaigns to divest from state-sponsored punitive control and invest in structures that support the self-determination, freedom, and dignity of Black women and gender non-conforming (gnc) people. We are seeking a sharp, highly strategic, and forward-thinking Associate Director of Campaigns to support our team in building and implementing campaigns to upend systems of control and confinement. 

The Associate Director of Campaigns is a collaborative leader committed to leveraging and enhancing the power of our members and staff to achieve concrete and transformative change. This person will serve as a strategic thought-partner to Essie’s Director of Campaigns & Advocacy and play a key role in the Campaigns & Advocacy Department to meet its ambitious goals of ushering in an era of prison closure and Black feminist freedom. The Campaigns & Advocacy Department is charged with developing statewide and national advocacy campaigns that will best position us to win the demands published in our groundbreaking report, Because She’s Powerful: The Political Isolation and Resistance of Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones. The Associate Director of Campaigns will work closely with colleagues across the organization to ensure our campaigns are strategically aligned, properly resourced, and fueled by the participation and leadership of our Essie membership. 

The ideal candidate for this role is a natural and enthusiastic systems-builder who is deeply familiar with the ebbs and flows of power-based campaigning work. The Associate Director of Campaigns can detect emerging needs in a campaign and respond in an innovative and timely manner. This person is a skilled project manager who can discern between urgent and important needs and appropriately triage multiple incoming requests. The Associate Director of Campaigns also has the emotional intelligence to stay attuned to team morale and can press pause in a fast-paced work environment to coach team members when they encounter challenges. 

Start date: January 10, 2022. 

Core Responsibilities

Department Leadership - In partnership with the Director of Campaigns & Advocacy, strategically steward the department's resources in alignment with organizational and departmental priorities.

  • Collaborate with the Director to define strategic priorities for the department and manage to operational plan goals. 
  • Support the development of departmental budgets. 
  • Directly manage 2-3 staff members.
  • Lead special projects as needed. 
  • Hold select external relationships with partners and/or coalitions as needed.  
  • Embody and promote Essie’s Black Feminist culture and values internally and externally.

Campaign Implementation & Systems-Building - Oversee the day-to-day operations of campaigns and manage internal coordination between campaigns and across Essie Departments.   

  • Facilitate and prepare for standing team meetings; design agendas so that team members stay coordinated as well as engaged in on-going learning and professional development. 
  • Create user-friendly team coordination tools, including tracking of key metrics, and support staff in fully adopting and utilizing them. 
  • Stay abreast of on-the-ground needs and address barriers to moving work forward
  • Contribute to cross-organizational alignment meetings and collaboration practices, particularly between Membership & Organizing Department, Communications & Partnerships Department, and Resources & Operations Department. 
  • Coordinate closely with the Membership & Organizing team to facilitate membership decision-making processes such as the adoption of Essie’s platform/stance on policy issues.  

Knowledge Management & Staff Development - Ensure Campaigns and Advocacy staff and members have the training and support they need to successfully execute power-based campaign plans and as the department grows, codify best practices.

  • Lead and/or coordinate staff training to sharpen skills across the team in strategy development, facilitation, power-based campaigning and organizing and create training curricula as needed.  
  • Support subsequent hiring and onboarding of new department staff. 
  • Observe and coach department staff and model best practices in meeting management and group facilitation as needed.

Who We’re Looking For 

Ideal Qualifications

  • 7+ years experience in organizing and/or advocacy (e.g. issue and/or electoral campaigning, lobbying, and/or policy development and analysis) with a minimum of 2 years serving in a management role.
  • Ability to track a changing political landscape and make insightful assessments to inform campaign next steps or pivots. 
  • Experience utilizing data-driven planning and monitoring to improve the operations of a campaign and/or organizing drive. 
  • Meaningful experience supervising full time staff in a way that acknowledges differentials in privilege and power, recognizes their gifts, encourages their confidence, supports their growth, and holds them accountable to standards.
  • Experience supporting colleagues with direct experience of incarceration.
  • Track record as a collaborative leader who excels in managing multiple projects, and is comfortable working in a fast-paced and non-traditional work environment. 
  • Effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Adept at computer programs including Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and Google Suite.
  • Commitment to the beliefs and values of Essie with a demonstrated passion for progressive politics, specifically in gender justice, race justice, and ending mass incarceration.


  • Values people, process, and results. You care deeply about winning on the issues we work on because you understand the transformative impact it will have on people’s lives so you strive for excellence in all you and your team do. While you push yourself to meet high standards, you also have the patience to attend to the human needs of the work that sometimes calls for adjustments in order to sustain a healthy work culture. 
  • Politically astute. You routinely track the changing political dynamics and policy trends in our field, can skillfully assess windows of opportunity and bring new ideas to strategic conversations that will result in impactful decarceration and criminal justice campaigns. 
  • Discernment and honesty we can trust. You are a thoughtful team member who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy. 
  • Sees #Woke as a verb. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

The Position

The Associate Director of Campaigns is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Director of Campaigns and Advocacy. The salary for this position is between $100,000 - $110,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position is based in one of Essie’s offices in Oakland or Los Angeles, California. Essie has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.

To Apply

Please address a thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal (

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones; formerly incarcerated people; people of color; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming (gnc), and gender fluid people. 

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, performance assessment, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

About Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group is a non profit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. Essie is Great Place to Work-Certified™ by Great Place to Work.

Learn more at

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  • Location
    Oakland/Los Angeles, California
  • Department
    Campaigns & Advocacy
  • Employment Type
  • Compensation
    $100,000 - $110,000