Job Posting: Criminal Justice Organizer

Grassroots Leadership seeks an Organizer to support our work to end the criminalization of mental health. This two-year, grant-funded organizer will work closely with our criminal justice team to drive campaigns at the intersections of mental health and criminal justice policy. They will be responsible for organizing community members with lived experience and for helping advance Grassroots Leadership’s state legislative agenda. Priority issue areas include limiting law enforcement discretion for arrest and promoting public health alternatives to incarceration, especially for substance use. 
 Primary Responsibilities:  

  • Work with Texas Advocates for Justice to recruit and organize directly impacted community leaders across the state to advance our local and state policy agenda.
  • Research best practices for public health alternatives to incarceration in other cities and states to inform advocacy campaigns.
  • Build broad support for state level campaigns through base building, direct action, education, and thought-leadership.
  • Legislative responsibilities may include:
    • Organize kNOw MORE Advocacy Day at the Capitol 2019.
    • Communicate with policy experts, allies, and community members through regular email updates and call-to-actions.
    • Promote media coverage of legislative agenda issue areas through press releases and op-eds.
    • Support directly impacted community members’ involvement at the Capitol through weekly meetings, policy trainings, and accompaniment to hearings.
  • Any other duties assigned by the supervisor.  

Through funding from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Grassroots Leadership will host a Fellow for a two-year position, beginning July 1, 2018.  
Desired Qualifications:

  • Personal experience with mental health and criminal justice systems.
  • Experience in community organizing, workshop facilitation, and/or policy-oriented research.
  • Familiarity with Texas legislative and/or local government processes.
  • Passion about ending the prison industrial complex and about imagining, designing, and advancing alternatives to the treatment industrial complex.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and cultural competency, as well as experience working with diverse and directly-impacted communities.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.  

This full-time salaried position will be located in our Austin, Texas office. Some travel within Texas and occasional travel outside of the state will be required. Depending on qualifications, the salary ranges between $40,000-$44,000 per year with excellent benefits. The Fellowship includes professional development opportunities and a detailed mentoring plan. 

 It is the policy of Grassroots Leadership not to discriminate in the employment of staff, or in the selection of volunteers, on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, financial status or HIV status. Grassroots Leadership works affirmatively to build a staff and board that includes people of many different races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, ages and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated and family members of those who are and have been in prison or immigrant detention. 
Grassroots Leadership is committed to investing in the leadership of people of color and formerly incarcerated people. People of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who have family in prisons or detention centers, women, queer, and trans people are encouraged to apply. We do not discourage or discriminate against people with convictions, and you will not be asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime on the application or interview.  
Please send letter of introduction, resume/vitae and three employment-related references to with “Criminal Justice Organizer” in the subject line by May 25th. Please address the following in your letter of introduction: 1) Tell us about an organizing or advocacy campaign you worked on in the past. Describe the issue, campaign strategy, your role, and the outcome. 2) To the extent that you feel comfortable, talk to us about how your lived experience with mental health, substance use, incarceration and/or institutionalization informs your interest in this position.