Community Organizer

Campaigns & Advocacy · Oakland/Los Angeles, California
Department Campaigns & Advocacy
Employment Type Full-Time
Compensation $68,000 - $70,000

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. After seven years building an active membership across California and leading on the Movement for Black Lives Policy Table as an instrumental contributor to the federal BREATHE Act last year. 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 people-oriented, adaptable, and highly motivated Community Organizer to join us in building and implementing campaigns to upend systems of control and confinement. 

The Community Organizer is an enthusiastic self-starter who thrives when working with and in support of people most impacted by systemic oppression to build collective power. As an integral member of Essie’s Campaigns & Advocacy Team, the Organizer will recruit, build relationships with, and coordinate members to implement 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. At Essie, we understand that strategy development happens in dynamic teams; as a valued member of the Campaigns & Advocacy team, the Community Organizer will be expected and encouraged to contribute their insights and ideas to long-term and near-term strategy development. 

Start date: January 10, 2022. 

Core Responsibilities

Member Recruitment & Activation - Drive outreach to members and ensure maximum participation in advocacy campaigns or initiatives. 

  • Engage members in advocacy campaigns or initiatives by building intentional one-on-one relationships and meaningfully following up through calls, meetings and/or other activities and engagements. 
  • Recruit, steward participation in campaign activities, monitor progress towards turnout goals, and track and proactively respond to trends in member retention. 
  • Get to know members’ strengths, stories, passions, and interests in order to support them in assuming more leadership in relevant campaign-related activities (e.g. committee leadership, spokesperson training, etc.)   
  • Actively problem-solve to reduce barriers for member participation.
  • Plan, facilitate, and track member committees’ work. 

Campaign Implementation - Carry out activations, mobilizations, and other tactics to achieve advocacy objectives. 

  • Contribute to campaign strategy development and stay abreast of relevant current events in our field.
  • Manage key tactics of campaign strategy (actions, press conferences, rallies, and other advocacy events). 
  • Create member- and partner-facing written materials. 
  • Coordinate logistics for campaign-related events including leading day-of operations.
  • Facilitate group gatherings.
  • Participate in partnership spaces, and hold select relationships with partners. 

Who We’re Looking For 

Ideal Qualifications

  • 2+ years experience in organizing (community-based, issue-based, electoral, and/or labor); previous experience in decarceration advocacy a strong plus.
  • Commitment to supporting the leadership of women and gender non-conforming (gnc) people with incarcerated loved ones and our families. 
  • Excellent time-management, organizational, and event planning skills.
  • Effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Track record as a collaborative team player who excels in managing multiple projects, and is comfortable working in a fast-paced and non-traditional work environment. 
  • ​​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.


  • Connecting with others is your superpower. You find tremendous joy in building relationships and in supporting the leadership development of others. 
  • A determined, methodical executor. You are extremely organized and coordinate meetings and events with skill and grace, especially in a fast-paced, focused environment. You relish strong work plans and time management tools to support your and the project’s success. You anticipate needs and take initiative to address them. “I persist despite obstacles” is one of your mottos.
  • 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 Community Organizer is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Policy Associate. The salary for this position is between $68,000 - $70,000 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™ and a recognized leader in Black feminist institution building.

Learn more at

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  • Location
    Oakland/Los Angeles, California
  • Department
    Campaigns & Advocacy
  • Employment Type
  • Compensation
    $68,000 - $70,000