Field Organizer

Jobs

Field Organizer

The Field Organizer will work closely with INCS’ Senior Manager of City Affairs, and the entire Government Affairs team to effectively run a grassroots organizing program in IllinoisThe program mobilizes individuals in support of charter public schools and increasing access to great public schools locally and across Illinois. The Field Organizer will coordinate and manage volunteers and interns to implement the agency’s grassroots organizing activities across the State. 

BACKGROUND  

Twenty 20 years ago, when educators and community members started the charter school movement, people questioned whether students in low income communities could succeed at the highest levels. That debate is now over. They can, and they do, as evidenced by the high school graduation rates and post-secondary success of thousands of Illinois charter school students. The only remaining question is whether we have the will to make this happen for more families. That is the work we are committed to. 

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) advocates for the improvement of public education by leveraging the charter school model as a catalyst to transform lives and communities. INCS works to ensure that charter public schools have adequate and equitable resources, the autonomy to find innovative approaches to meet student needs, and a fair and transparent policy landscape that allows high-quality options to thrive.  

 In 2017, years of concerted effort led to a change in Illinois’ education funding law that resulted in a statewide increase of $55 million in new charter school funding. Ensuring that the increased funding flows to charter public schools and that additional schools are authorized and open will take additional, creative efforts in the next year. We’re thrilled by the progress that occurred in 2017 and will continue to work with policy-makers, school leaders, parents, and community members to secure high quality educational options for underserved communities and students in 2018. 

As the voice of Illinois charter schools, INCS engages a diverse coalition of policy-makers, school leaders, parents, and community members to create systemic change and secure high-quality schools for underserved communities.INCS makes its impact through several program teams: Government Affairs, Charter Growth and Support, and Communications. These teams are supported by our Development and Operations teams. The organization is based in Chicago, where most Illinois charter schools are located. 

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES  

The Field Organizer, reporting to the Senior Manager of City Affairs, represents INCS and its affiliated sister organizations in the community, develops and executes organizing plans, mobilizes activists, and reports on how these activities are helping transform lives and communities.  The Field Organizer will: 

  • Carry out grassroots organizing and communication campaigns 
  • Develop organizing plans, goals, and metrics to further INCS’ mission 
  • Execute approved plans in close coordination with other Government Affairs team members 
  • Build teams of activitists  
  • Cultivate relationships with community groups and activists 
  • Identify and cultivate “key contacts” in targeted communities 
  • Identify tabling, recruiting, and other visibility opportunities 
  • Mobilize activists for special purposes such as letter writing campaigns, phone banking, canvassing, days of action, visibility events, and legislative lobbying 
  • Recruit and manage volunteers, volunteer leaders, and interns  
  • Create strategic work plans, organize their training, provide opportunities for growth up the ladder of engagement, and supervise their work 
  • Create and maintain a rapid response list that can be engaged in response to state, municipal, or other urgent campaigns 
  • Coordinate training for volunteers and interns, with other INCS’ staff 
  • Represent INCS in coalitions, supporting coalition and partner work when appropriate 
  • Create GOTV alerts for activist activities and events. 
  • Report on efforts and their efficacy to Government Affairs leadership  
  • Manage a database of activists  
  • Oversee maintenance of data in activist database 
  • Monitor list growth; develop list growth goals 
  • Administrative Duties 
  • Provide INCS staff information for grant reports, board reports, and strategic plan updates 
  • Participate in annual planning process 
  • Other duties as required. 

EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
First and foremost, the Field Organizer must believe that every child, regardless of socioeconomic factors or their academic starting point has the potential to succeed in school, career, and life. In addition, candidates should have an awareness of how public education systems have historically and disproportionately disadvantaged vulnerable communities and must believe that charter schools have the power to transform public educaton and the lives of students. Ideal candidates will possess the following characteristics: 

  • An understanding of how mission-driven organizations accomplish their work through people 
  • An interest in and basic understanding of the connections between education and social justice 
  • A bachelor’s degree  
  • Experience in lobbying and/or political campaigns, or community organizing 
  • Familiarity with the legislative process  
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office and/or Google Apps, database management, and experience with Convio and VAN/VoteBuilder  
  • Confident, mature outlook and presence, sense of humor, relentless optimism, a spirit of problem-solving, and calm under pressure 
  • A commitment to embracing diversity and fostering an environment of inclusion and cultural competency (see our definition below)  
  • The ability to earn the confidence of a wide range of internal and external constituents 
  • Public speaking and training experience 
  • Ability to work independently with purpose, creativity, and accuracy in a deadline-driven environment, balancing various short-term and ongoing projects 
  • Organized project manager with excellent attention to detail  
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS 

  • Long hours at the computer are necessary at times 
  • A Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation to travel within the community for programs Flexibility in work hours as some evenings and occasional weekend hours are necessary 
  • English fluency required, Spanish preferred   

CULTURAL COMPETENCY AT INCS
Cultural competency is a lifelong process of building the knowledge, mindset, and skills necessary to engage fully and effectively with students, colleagues, and stakeholders of different backgrounds. This process requires us to deeply understand our nation’s history of injustice and its link to the persistent opportunity gaps that INCS and its member schools are focused on closing. It also requires us to strengthen our cultural competency by better understanding our own implicit and explicit biases and by reflecting on our words and actions through open dialogue.  

INCS invests in building greater cultural competence and responsiveness across our team by supporting ongoing reflection, learning, skill-building, and positive actions. We know that culturally competent teams, especially when inclusive of individuals who share the racial, socioeconomic, and/or academic backgrounds (e.g., first generation college goers) of member schools’ student populations, are best equipped to act to ensure fairness inside and outside of INCS. To that end, we believe in building a richly diverse and inclusive organization, including a mission-critical imperative for all staff to both model and contribute to the vision we hope to achieve. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY 

We believe it is critical for leaders to reflect the communities that they serve and that diversity across multiple dimensions enables us to achieve our mission of transforming lives and communities through public education. We don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our staff, member schools, and the broader community. INCS is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We seek and welcome a diverse pool of candidates in this search. 

COMPENSATION 

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.  INCS provides a suite of competitive benefits. 

START DATE 

As soon as possible. 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE 

INCS will review candidates and their qualifications until the position is filled.  

To apply, please submit a current resume to Adrian Segura at asegura@incschools.org. 

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