Family Organizer Job Description
Are you passionate about building Black and Brown parent and youth power to ensure that historically underserved students in Oakland have access to a high-quality public education? Do you believe in the leadership and agency of parents and youth to be influential leaders in public education? Join us as a family organizer to partner with schools to find, train and coach parent and youth leaders so they can advocate effectively for equitable access to high-quality public schools.
About Families in Action for Quality Education (FIA Oakland)
Families in Action for Quality Education was founded in 2019 among leaders of the five largest and high performing East Oakland charter schools to protect access to quality public schools through elevating authentic parent and youth leadership. We recognized that we were suffering political losses that threatened our families’ access to high quality charter schools. We needed to act differently to get different results. Four and a half years later, FIA has scaled its work to 45 schools, district and charter, and become a profound source of city-wide family power. FIA’s 500 parent and youth leaders lead campaigns in their schools and city to champion quality education, ensuring that underserved families disrupt inequities at the school and systems level and achieve policy and practice wins. In partnership with Energy Convertors, Great School Voices and its school partners, FIA has become a force to be reckoned with in Oakland education.
This is a full-time position. FIA uses a hybrid model in our organization, meaning we have 3 in office work days and 2 remote work days per week, in addition to some in-person and virtual evening meetings.
In this role, you will report to and receive weekly coaching from the Senior Organizing Consultant in order to:
- Recruit, train and lead a team of parent/community leaders to develop school-based parent-led organizing campaigns to empower parents, youth and teachers to act in the public arena to promote and defend their interests and values.
- Use 1:1 meetings to build relationships and identify parent/community leaders. Use a variety of outreach methods to recruit leaders and allies through including school events, house visits, and house meetings.
- Partner with school leaders and family coordinators to develop family leadership and build sustainable structures to channel parent leadership within schools to accomplish goals such as increased literacy outcomes.
- Develop the knowledge and understanding of family leaders in education data, the Oakland public education landscape, and the principles and practices of community organizing.
- Develop, lead, and manage education issue campaigns and community collaborations including community meetings, public events and demonstrations, voter education and mobilization initiatives, and other forms of civic engagement.
- Develop organizing project plans and use monday.com for project management
- Input and analyze weekly organizing data and use it to drive weekly and monthly priorities.
Additional skills, duties and responsibilities
- Build strong coalition relationships among school personnel, diverse community organizations stakeholders, neighborhood leaders and elected officials.
- Use new media, apps and social media organizing including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Canvasser app, blogs and email outreach to enhance the on-the-ground work.
- Perform other duties as required to support the work of the organization as a whole.
Compensation, Benefits and Professional Development
We offer a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package including health care and an employer-matched 401K plan. Annual compensation range is from $50,000 – $80,000 and is dependent on the candidate’s experience and demonstrated impact.
FIA takes professional development seriously and invests in development. New organizers receive robust onboarding including training in our organizing principles and power building approach. In addition, FIA organizers receive weekly coaching and development from our Senior Organizing Consultant. Organizers are supported through a weekly organizing team meeting, “Data Party” and Operations/Political Huddle. FIA also hosts an annual off-site retreat and quarterly step-back meetings to build mission alignment, trust-filled relationships and team efficacy.
- Passion for increasing access, quality and equity in Oakland public education for underserved families.
- Familiarity with Oakland politics as well as the historical & root causes of educational disparities (ie., racism, systemic issues to maintain white privilege and power).
- Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships with diverse stakeholders and communities and eagerness to learn and engage in organizing.
- Ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively, including speaking in small and large group settings.
- Strong strategic thinking skills and an ability to analyze policies and institutions.
- Willingness to work as collaborative member and contribute to a team in a dynamic, learning-oriented environment.
- A valid driver’s license and reliable, insured vehicle (needed to fulfill job requirements) and proof of eligibility to work in the United States.
- Proficiency in Spanish
- Experience working in Oakland, CA
- Experience working in African American, Latinx communities and/or multi-racial, multilingual communities
- Two to five years of professional community organizing or community development experience
- Knowledge of classroom teaching, grassroots leadership development, education reform, political context, public policy development, and/or public education
Work Environment / Physical Demands
The work environment characteristics and the physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while successfully performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the person in this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills. We are an equal opportunity employer.
Sample “Week in the Life” of an Organizer
- Meet 1-1 with 8-10 of your parent leaders to strategize about the next steps in your campaign to expand educational options in the district
- Meet 1:1 with 4-5 potential new leaders in order to understand their self-interest and share the mission and vision of FIA.
- Meet 1:1 with 4-5 family coordinators to strategize about their family literacy leadership team and its goals and next action.
- Prepare and then support your team of 15-20 parent leaders as they hold their first meeting with the local superintendent about the district’s plans to improve college eligibility outcomes for low-income students
- Meet with the school leader, family coordinator and two family leaders to reflect on progress in the school’s facility access campaign and plan next steps.
- Role-play your upcoming training on power and leadership for the organizing team and receive feedback from your colleagues
- Train a parent to chair a meeting with her local school board president, and coach her to think through the appropriate tone and level of challenge the group should bring to the board member about their issue
- Make calls to invite parents to attend an upcoming meeting and schedule 1-1 visits with them for the next week
- Meet with your supervisor to evaluate your previous parent leader team meeting
- Schedule a 1-1 with a local nonprofit leader to learn more about the their work with families and the changing political environment in local cities
- Read and reflect on a classic organizing text, like Larry Tramutola’s Sidewalk Strategies