Job Title: Community Organizer
Department: Michigan Chapter
Location: Detroit, MI
Reports To: Chapter Director
Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of interdependence. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel injustice, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our future. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it. Sierra Club has close to 800 staff across the country and a network of 64 local chapters that are led and fueled by thousands of volunteers. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with three labor unions representing more than half of our employees.
Scope: As Michigan Chapter community organizer, you will help lead and execute assigned components of Sierra Club Michigan’s water, land, wildlife, and energy campaign work, with a primary focus on projects in Detroit, MI. You will work with Sierra Club staff, volunteer leadership, donors, and partner organizations to implement strategically coordinated campaigns; help educate and engage Sierra Club members, supporters, partners, and the general public on our priority issues; and support networks of engaged volunteer activists across the state. This position requires occasional evening and weekend work for volunteer meetings and public events; requires an ability to travel within the state with a valid driver’s license and satisfactory driving record; and may require occasional out-of-state travel to regional or national meetings.
Job activities include but are not limited to:
- Lead green stormwater infrastructure and Great Lakes protection programs. Facilitate educational and hands-on workshops that facilitate the installation of rain gardens, rain barrels and disconnecting and extending downspouts. These tasks involve physical labor and the use of manual gardening tools/equipment, hack saws and drills.
- Identifies, develops, and supports volunteer leaders and strengthens strategic partnerships to build grassroots power that centers frontline communities. Motivates people to influence decision makers and help achieve campaign victories.
- Assists the appropriate field organizing staff and volunteer leaders with planning and implementing the campaign and other programs as assigned, including attending relevant local, state and regional convenings.
- Helps promote campaigns and activities through social media, Chapter updates and newsletters, and assists in writing press releases. Represents the Sierra Club to the public and in the media. Writes newsletter articles, op-eds, and alerts.
- Assists in fundraising. Tasks include grant writing, engaging with donors, grant management, data management and reporting in partnership with the Chapter Director and other relevant stakeholders.
- Seeks opportunities to advance the Sierra Club’s diversity initiatives through new partnerships and engagement strategies where appropriate. Identifies and is responsible for developing strong relationships with key people of influence, including community leaders, especially from frontline communities, and public officials to positively influence campaign or program outcomes.
- Plans and develops outdoor activities to engage communities and provide education to promote campaigns focusing on Great Lakes protection.
- Provides information, research, and other assistance to Sierra Club leaders, the public, and others about the campaign or program and priority issues.
- Performs administrative, clerical, and other miscellaneous duties as assigned by supervisor.
The successful candidate must demonstrate the following skills, experience and competencies:
- Green Stormwater Infrastructure. You have a basic understanding of green stormwater infrastructure practices or an interest in gardening. You are excited to lead indoor and outdoor workshops, use garden tools and lead volunteer work days.
- Community organizing & teamwork. You have experience working with groups using democratic decision-making. You have worked with partners to achieve shared goals by building pressure on a decision-maker through an escalation of advocacy tactics. You are able to manage a fast-moving, dynamic campaign plan with multiple stakeholders, partners, volunteers, and decision-makers.
- Public speaking & facilitation. You are comfortable speaking in front of large and small groups, leading group discussions, and facilitating hands-on workshops. You are able to convey information and help everyone share their ideas while moving through an intentional agenda in a timely manner. You are able to motivate groups of people to take action for a cause.
- Environmental and social justice analysis & practice. You understand how climate change, environmental degradation, and limited access to nature disproportionately impact communities of color, low-income communities, and other marginalized groups. You are interested in or have experience developing inclusive campaigns at the intersection of environmental action and social justice.
- Collaboration. You are effective and efficient working independently on your own as well as cooperatively with others to accomplish complex work projects and can point to specific examples of your experience with each. You know how to manage a project or campaign timeline while engaging the relevant staff and volunteers in a timely manner.
- Equity analysis & practice. You are aware of your personal group identities and how they have shaped your life and experiences at work. You have an analysis of how racism and other forms of oppression in society impact relationships, systems and culture. You bring experience and skills for working effectively with colleagues across group identities, positions, and roles.
The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following skills, experience and competencies:
- Extensive knowledge and understanding of green infrastructure practices and management best practices.
- Knowledge of Michigan native plant species commonly used in green infrastructure practices.
- Strong relationships with Detroit-based environmental groups, grassroots organizers and nonprofits.
- Experience writing and managing grants or experience engaging individual donors.
- Experience working with traditional media, social media management and campaign tools like Hustle or VAN.
- Google Suite proficiency.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for this position is $59,000 - $62,000.
The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.
This is a category 5 exempt, PWU-Chapter represented, professional position.
Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club People Department in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce belonging.
The Sierra Club provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, lived experience and skills. The Sierra Club does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.
The Sierra Club values applicants who are people that identify as Black, Indigenous, and other minoritized groups; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people.
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