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 ones—and include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender nonconforming (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 eight years of 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 GNC people. As the opportunities to communicate our unique politic and movement-impact campaigns continue to grow, we are seeking a strategic Senior Campaigns Communications Specialist with a pulse on emergent trends and a commitment to Black feminist abolition work to join our team.
The Senior Campaigns Communications Specialist is a strategic communicator who uses all tools at their disposal to leverage and enhance the power and visibility of our members and staff to achieve concrete and transformative change. Creative and savvy, the Senior Campaigns Communications Specialist is as confident and detail-oriented in flexing their language skills in targeted message development as they are creating inspiring and attention-grabbing graphic collateral. With a strong understanding of how to position and uplift campaign goals and strategies, the Senior Campaigns Communications Specialist is adept at crafting campaign messages that communicate urgency and inspire our members and partners to action.
Campaigns Branding & Messaging - Develop messaging and strategies across and for Essie campaigns that inform our audiences and inspire them to action, while maintaining consistency and alignment with Essie’s brand and abolitionist, race-and gender-justice perspective.
- Develop communications materials for all Essie campaigns, including templates and campaign style guides as necessary.
- Develop and implement a communications strategy for each campaign that collaboratively distributes relevant and engaging content on Essie’s social media platforms.
- Collaborate across Essie teams to coordinate campaign communications activities with organizational communications needs.
- Coordinate with the Communications Manager and Digital Organizer to ensure campaign communications are in sync with larger organization communications strategies and that our membership base is engaged and mobilized.
- Manage the development and distribution of all campaign-specific print and electronic publications, including emails to our audience of 40K+ people, programmatic marketing collateral, and donor outreach materials.
- Manage all media contacts with respect to Essie campaigns in coordination with the Communications Manager and cultivate relationships with local and national journalists and media personalities.
- Create and implement new ideas for partnerships and public awareness campaigns that increase visibility and leverage allies to support Essie campaigns.
- Manage creative contractors hired to support campaign communications, including graphic designers, photographers, and filmmakers.
- Design branded campaign swag as needed for campaign events and activities.
- Attend coalition meetings as identified by Director of Communications & Partnerships and the Director of Campaigns & Advocacy.
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 advocacy pieces that uplift Essie campaigns, political analysis, and the constituency of women with incarcerated loved ones.
- Draft testimony, speeches and talking points for campaign spokespeople, staff, and storytellers.
- Conduct media training, provide individualized coaching, and secure media opportunities for Essie member spokespeople to advance and support campaign goals.
- Develop and lead the implementation of strategic communication plans for campaigns in collaboration with the Director of Campaigns and Advocacy and the Communications & Partnerships team.
- Create press kits and releases, campaign collateral, draft messaging, and graphic content.
- Manage media relations and communications consulting firms to advance specific campaign aims as needed.
Who We’re Looking For
- 5+ years relevant professional experience in issue-based, movement-grounded campaign communications.
- Proficient in email marketing platforms (e.g. MailChimp), multiple social media channels, WordPress and Adobe Photoshop.
- Impeccable and beautiful writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
- Experience writing testimony, Op-Eds, campaign emails, and speeches.
- Experience creating and implementing strategic campaign communication plans and messaging for targeted audiences and demographics.
- Ability to lead communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
- Experience training campaign participants on and reinforcing message discipline.
- Track record as a collaborative leader who excels in managing multiple projects.
- Experience managing relationships with multiple stakeholders including partners, a constituency or member base, 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 understand how to craft targeted messages to reach specific demographics or audiences. 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, and authentic kindness wherever you go.
The Senior Campaigns Communications Specialist 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 $85,000-$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. All Essie staff are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, with limited exceptions for medical or religious reasons.
Please address a personal, specific, and thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal (https://essiejusticegroup.bamboohr.com/jobs). Your resume tells us what you can do; your cover letter should tell us who you are and why you want to work with Essie.
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) people, 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 www.essie justice group.org.