Director of Storytelling
Civil Rights Corps (CRC) is a non-profit civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2016, CRC challenges wealth-based and race-based systems of oppression. We work to shift power to community-led movements, particularly those led by Black, Brown, and poor people who are most affected by the criminal legal system, so they can build sufficient power to create structural change. We work with individuals accused and convicted of crimes, their families and communities, people currently or formerly incarcerated, activists, organizers, judges, and government officials to challenge mass human caging, to create a legal system that promotes equality and human freedom, and to dismantle white supremacy. Civil Rights Corps engages in advocacy and public education and specializes in innovative, systemic civil rights litigation with the goal of re-sensitizing the legal system and our culture to the injustice and brutality that characterize the contemporary U.S. legal system.
CRC has won groundbreaking litigation challenging the rise of modern debtors’ prisons, abusive private probation schemes, wealth-based pre-trial detention, and prosecutor and police abuse. CRC works closely with community partners and is committed to supporting social movements that aim to fundamentally transform the criminal system. CRC’s staff is comprised of passionate and dedicated advocates with a profound commitment to social justice and fighting inequality in all its forms. Learn more about our work at civilrightscorps.org.
About the Role
Civil Rights Corps is seeking an experienced and passionate person to provide strategic leadership to help us use communications, narrative, and our clients’ stories to contribute to a broader social movement around ending mass human caging and related systems of surveillance and social control. The Director must have a deep grasp of the legal issues involved in our work to change the criminal punishment bureaucracy and a sophisticated understanding of how the legal system perpetuates systems of racial and economic oppression. The Director must approach the task of contributing to a broader social movement with urgency, clarity, and vision. The Director of Storytelling reports to the Executive Director.
The Director will:
- Provide overall strategic leadership for the way that CRC communicates with the public and works with its clients, movement partners, and staff to tell the compelling stories that make up our work;
- Use their expertise to develop creative storytelling techniques and narrative strategies that can help CRC and its partners change the way that issues relating to “crime,” police, prosecutors, judges, prisons, economic and racial injustice, and the punishment bureaucracy generally are discussed in popular discourse. The need for a bold vision for how to change public discourse, connect with and activate key audiences, and inspire people to action is essential;
- Develop and execute a plan to raise CRC’s mission and profile, including the cultivation of strategic relationships with relevant and media outlets— including print, broadcast, and digital—to anticipate and maximize coverage opportunities;
- Work with CRC leadership and program directors in crafting and implementing CRC’s narrative change strategy
- Proactively develop integrated storytelling campaigns to raise visibility and awareness of CRC’s mission among key partners and policymakers, activists, and other high-level influencers, and donors; ensure that these efforts are aligned with CRC’s broader strategies to reduce the size and power of the criminal punishment bureaucracy and to build something beautiful in its place, are responsive to evolving external opportunities/challenges, and help drive the organization’s legal, policy, culture change, and fundraising objectives;
- Oversee the writing, design, and production of print and digital materials etc., ensuring that all materials align with CRC’s communications guidelines and present a holistic narrative consistent with the organization’s vision and mission;
- Serve as chief content manager and editor on CRC materials and website;
- Oversee staff who collect news media inquiries about our work and who initiate outreach to news media;
- Collaborate with the development manager to implement proactive strategies that lead to deeper donor engagement;
- Motivate and nurture a high-performing team, with attention to equity in all aspects of day-to-day work as well as in relationships with consultants, vendors, and partners;
- As a member of the management staff, provide vital input on strategic and operational planning and positioning for CRC
The ideal applicant is passionate about social justice, including challenging the pervasive injustices of the criminal punishment bureaucracy, hard-working, a fast learner, proactive, able to juggle multiple tasks, and able to work well in a collaborative environment. Specific qualifications we are looking for include:
- Significant experience working in the areas of criminal legal system reform, civil rights, racial justice, and/or economic justice fields or significant relevant experience covering these areas as a journalist;
- Exceptional writing, oral communications, and editing skills;
- Strong networks and relationships in the relevant movement field and/or in media;
- Ability to balance long-term goals and day-to-day demands;
- Ability to work well under pressure with tight deadlines and multiple priorities;
- Experience coaching others to be effective spokespeople and in securing opportunities for them to be effective voices, including in diverse media outlets;
- Strong interpersonal, problem-solving, and mentoring skills;
- Innovative thinking, an unwillingness to accept things as they are, and a rigorous work ethic essential;
- Political savvy, with demonstrated ability to create and lead constructive partnerships;
- Experience working with diverse populations, with those directly impacted by the criminal legal system, and on behalf of low-income clients.
- Race and identity competency, ability to understand, appreciate and navigate issues of identity power and privilege with clients, partners, and colleagues.
- Demonstrated commitment to the mission, purpose, and values of CRC.
- The following are not essential job requirements but are considered a plus:
- Experience building a strategic communications plan that embodies CRC’s vision, and targets multiple stakeholder audiences and leverages traditional, digital, and social media platforms;
- Experience managing a team;
- Demonstrated success partnering with development staff to craft and implement messaging that engages a broad range of supporters;
Civil Rights Corps is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Civil Rights Corps is committed to promoting an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices for its clients and staff.
Salary, Benefits, and Logistics Salary range is between $ 121,000 — 136,000, and commensurate with prior experience. Civil Rights Corps offers an outstanding and generous benefits package, including employer-paid health, vision, and dental benefits; transit benefits; an annual wellness benefit; retirement matching; and paid sick, family, and vacation leave. The strong preference is that the candidate be willing to work from our offices in Washington, D.C.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and list of four references to Civil Rights Corps on a rolling basis. Interviews will be conducted via a video teleconferencing platform, a writing exercise may be required, and a reference check will be completed before an offer is made. Applications will be accepted until a candidate is identified, and will start being reviewed after September 15, 2021. Materials should be addressed to email@example.com. Please include your name and “Director of Storytelling Application” in the subject line.