The Shriver Center is seeking a Director of Community Justice to provide organizational leadership and management oversight of the Shriver Center’s work to reform the criminal and juvenile justice systems, with a focus on disconnecting the civil society’s blanket reliance on the criminal justice system. Unless progress is made in this area, the racial and ethnic disparities of the criminal justice system will continue to permeate into the civil realm and permanently bar individuals from a fair opportunity to return to their communities. Through community-driven advocacy, litigation, and policy reform, the Director of Community Justice and his or her staff will advance systems change to restore rights and opportunities to persons who have been in contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems, promote reduction in the use of the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and investment in the communities and people often targeted. The Director of Community Justice also participates in the formation of coordinated multi-state advocacy campaigns through the Shriver Center’s multi-state networks or other networks. The Director of Community Justice is also responsible for program evaluation, including collecting data and information and implementing appropriate program adjustments. We’re seeking candidates who excel in relationship-building and collaboration, are results-oriented, who understand how to advance a focused advocacy agenda, know how to develop staff, and have strong project management skills.
Organizational Description: The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We put race front and center in our work. We recognize that inclusion of diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences is essential to understanding and addressing complex issues in our advocacy and within our organization. To that end, we focus on issues that deeply affect the lives and social mobility of people living in poverty: economic justice, housing justice, health care justice, and community justice. We lead, equip, and mobilize multi-state networks to advance an anti-poverty and racial justice agenda. Through training and leadership development programs designed to foster innovation and collaboration, we strengthen core competencies of advocates across the country.
Provides strategic leadership and vision for the community justice work of the Shriver Center by providing program direction and contributing to the development of work planning and goals;
Provides guidance and active supervision to attorneys, interns and volunteers to ensure they have the skills and tools necessary to advance the Shriver Center’s community justice agenda;
Promotes and facilitates relationships with key current and potential partners and represents the Shriver Center in local, state and national coalitions, working groups, commissions and task forces;
Participates in or leads advocacy on community justice issues at the local, state, and federal level;
Engages in legal and policy research and analysis;
In consultation with the Senior Director of Policy and Illinois Policy Director, drafts proposed statutes, regulatory provisions and policy implementation materials;
Collaborates with the Senior Litigation Director to advance systemic litigation;
Collaborates with the communications department to engage in media and public relations campaigns as appropriate to advance the advocacy agenda and serves as Shriver Center spokesperson on community justice advocacy positions;
Writes for Shriver Center online publications and participates as faculty at training events as appropriate;
Collaborates with the Shriver Center’s multi-state networks and other local, state and national networks and allies to support community justice agenda; provides advice on legal and policy matters to other advocates in Illinois and around the country;
Serves as a strategic partner to the development team in fundraising efforts for the community justice programs, including proposal preparation, budgeting and reporting;
Collaborates with Shriver Center operations, advocate resources and training, and advocacy departments as appropriate to coordinate community justice efforts and projects;
Assists with annual organizational budget planning for the community justice programs as needed;
Tracks time and expenses and provides reports on program performance and accomplishments and assists in program evaluation and modification as needed to achieve organizational goals;
Participates as needed in various administrative tasks and committees of the Shriver Center;
Travels as needed; and
Other duties as assigned.
Licensed to practice law;
8-10 years of experience in legal services or other public interest law preferred, with demonstrated success advancing community-engaged advocacy campaigns on the legal and policy issues affecting marginalized communities or populations;
Ability to motivate diverse groups of people and work well as a team member;
Self-direction and self-motivation, creative in problem solving, and the ability to work collaboratively and independently;
The ability to manage and develop staff and hold them accountable;
Demonstrated commitment to social justice and advancing racial equity; experience working and managing across lines of differences and working with and in economically and racially diverse communities preferred;
Experience with organizing, community organizers, lobbying, media and message, and other aspects of issue campaigns, preferably on a national scale;
Excellent writing skills, including experience producing articles for publication;
Substantial experience and strong understanding of the requirements for successful interactions with foundations;
Experience developing and managing budgets;
Willingness and ability to travel as needed (est. 25%);
Strong relationships within the national community of public interest lawyers and advocates preferred;
Complex litigation experience preferred; and
Multilingual skills are a plus, but not required.
Additional Salary Information: This full-time exempt position offers a competitive public interest wage and comprehensive benefits package.
About Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We put race front and center in our work. We recognize that inclusion of diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences is essential to understanding and addressing complex issues in our advocacy and within our organization. To that end, we focus on issues that deeply affect the lives and social mobility of people living in poverty: economic justice, housing justice, health care justice, and community justice. We lead, equip, and mobilize multi-state networks to advance an anti-poverty and racial justice agenda. Through training and leadership development programs designed to foster innovation and collaboration, we strengthen core competencies of advocates across the country.