Communications Manager

Communications & Partnerships · Oakland/Los Angeles, California
Department Communications & Partnerships
Employment Type Full-Time
Compensation $90,000-$95,000

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, 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. As the opportunities to communicate our unique politic and movement-impact continue to grow, we are seeking a strategic Communications Manager with a pulse on emergent trends and a commitment to Black feminist abolition work to join our team. 

The Communications Manager is a strategic storyteller who recognizes opportunities that others might miss to shift narrative and advance a political perspective to multiple audiences. A creative and savvy communicator, the Communications Manager is as confident and detail oriented in flexing their language skills in message development as they are creating inspiring graphic collateral.

With a pulse on mainstream trends and movement moments, the Communications Manager is adept at identifying and leveraging timely cultural opportunities to advance the social change agenda of our loving and powerful membership. This role benefits from having compelling content at their fingertips; their task is to experiment with creative ways to share our Black feminist perspective, vital personal testimonies, and precise political messaging to serve our organizational and movement goals.  

Start date: January 10, 2022. 

Core Responsibilities

Organizational Branding & Messaging - Develop messaging that elevates Essie’s brand and abolitionist, race- and gender-justice perspective Manage a team to make our messaging live in the world. 

  • Manage 1 - 3 communications staff. 
  • Develop communications materials including templates and an organizational style guide; train new staff on employing branded communications. 
  • Develop and implement a strategy that distributes relevant and engaging content on Essie’s social media platforms. 
  • Manage the development and distribution of all print and electronic publications including emails to listserv of 40K+ people, programmatic marketing collateral, and donor outreach materials.
  • Manage all media contacts and cultivate relationships with local and national journalists and media personalities.
  • Create and implement new ideas for partnerships and public awareness campaigns that expand Essie’s audience. 
  • Oversee Essie’s visual assets including photography, films, graphics, and logos. 
  • Manage creative contractors including graphic designers, photographers, and filmmakers for ongoing communications needs and special projects. 
  • Design branded organizational swag including for special events and organizational programs.  

Thought Leadership & Campaign Communications - Co-develop and further realize original political analysis and thought pieces to influence the political opportunities and realities we organize and campaign within.

  • Regularly write op-eds, blog posts, articles, and other organizational responses to current political and pop cultural events that uplifts Essie’s political analysis and the constituency of women with incarcerated loved ones. 
  • Conduct media trainings, provide individualized coaching, and secure media opportunities for Essie member spokespeople.  
  • Draft keynote speeches and develop talking points on behalf of and in collaboration with Essie’s Founder & Executive Director.
  • Develop and lead the implementation of strategic communication plans for campaigns in collaboration with the Director of Campaigns and Advocacy; create press kits and releases, campaign collateral, draft messaging, and graphic content. 
  • Manage media relations and communications consulting firms to advance specific campaign aims or thought leadership projects. 

Who We’re Looking For 

Ideal Qualifications

  • 5+ years relevant professional experience in communications.
  • Proficient in email marketing platforms (eg. MailChimp), multiple social media channels, WordPress and Adobe Photoshop.
  • Impeccable and beautiful writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience writing reports and publications, organizational emails, Op-Eds, and speeches.
  • Experience creating and implementing strategic communication plans.
  • Ability to lead communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
  • Track record as a collaborative leader who excels in managing multiple projects.
  • Experience managing relationships with multiple stakeholders including partners, Board members, community members, and donors.
  • Experience creating and implementing new communications campaigns and initiatives.
  • Experience supervising creative professionals, either in-house or outside vendors.
  • Demonstrated skill in creative problem solving and embracing change.
  • Adept with Mac operating systems, Google Suite, and MS Office Suite (especially Excel, Powerpoint and Word).
  • Commitment to the beliefs and values of Essie, specifically in gender justice, race justice and ending mass incarceration.


  • A uniquely skilled, empathetic communicator. You are someone who uses your highly developed sense of empathy to tap into what motivates others to act. Because of your belief that everyone benefits from the type of future for which our membership fights, you are able to find ways to make meaningful connections to our work for individuals who may not have had any direct experience with poverty, incarceration, or race, gender, or heteronormative bias. You hold central the humanity of members, donors, media, the community and other potential Essie connections, while carrying a healthy dose of awareness of the complexities of movement work.
  • An astute strategist. While creativity and intuitive innovation fuel your work, your analysis of methods and tactics are rooted in an ability to apply data and metrics to strategy. You make thoughtful plans and can pivot nimbly to meet your goals, with an eye on how lessons learned can drive the program forward.
  • 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 Communications Manager is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Director of Communications and Partnerships. The salary for this position is between $90,000-$95,000 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

Thank You

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  • Location
    Oakland/Los Angeles, California
  • Department
    Communications & Partnerships
  • Employment Type
  • Compensation