Lead Organizer, SPACEs

Lead Organizer, SPACEs

Position Location: Washington, DC

Reports to: Executive Director/Project Director

FLSA Status: Exempt

Prepared Date: April 9, 2015

Position Summary: SPACEs is an inter-disciplinary social justice organization that unleashes the capacity of people and organizations to create communities of HOPE (Healing, Opportunity and Possibility for Everyone).

SPACEs seeks an experienced organizer who shares the organization’s belief that, collectively with others, we can put a serious dent in the issue of generational poverty – including the issue of low-quality jobs — in the DC metropolitan region (DC, Maryland and Virginia). The Lead Organizer will have overall responsibility for developing and executing campaigns to achieve this goal, with an emphasis on building and supporting the leadership of persons most impacted by this issue.

This is a senior leadership position within the organization. Having founded SPACEs four years ago, the Executive Director seeks to practice a more distributive – or shared – form of leadership and is looking for a fellow visionary, innovator and risk-taker to lead this emerging body of work along with workers, staff and partners.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Lead Organizer will report to the Executive Director of SPACEs and will:

  • Provide strategic vision for and day-to-day management of all aspects of an emerging campaign to address the issue of generational poverty in the DC metro region. This includes but is not limited to building a base of unemployed and underemployed workers, the creation of worker-driven leadership teams, helping research and define (along with others) what will constitute a campaign “win” and securing support for the campaign from private sector businesses and other institutions.
  • As part of the larger effort described above, make a substantive contribution to a city-wide effort to address the issues of low-wages and low-quality jobs in Washington, D.C.
  • Provide assorted training to individual leaders and partner organizations with respect to outreach and recruitment, campaigns and strategic communications, just to name a few topics.
  • Cultivate relationships with and represent SPACEs in assorted city-wide and region-wide coalitions and alliances. This may entail significant local travel between and among the three jurisdictions that encompass the Washington, DC metropolitan area. And will require that the Lead Organizer own or have access to a private vehicle to facilitate local travel.
  • Manage and determine next steps for the Safe Space Resource Center located in Southeast, DC. The center provides training, supportive services and technical assistance to a small cohort of youth and families and the community association that represents them.
  • Serve as a compelling – and, when necessary, provocative — spokesperson for a unique approach to addressing concentrated and generational poverty.
  • Work with the Executive Director to generate local and national resources to support this work.


  • Broad and deep knowledge of community organizing and issue campaigns — at least five years — including but not limited to one-on-one relational meetings, power mapping, direct action, training, group management/facilitation and outreach and recruitment.
  • At least five years of experience working within a not-for-profit social justice organization.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • The knowledge and skills to function as a strategic campaign planner and leader within grassroots labor and political circles.
  • Effective understanding of the dynamics of race and racism in the U.S. and how both play out with respect to individuals and institutions (systems and structures).
  • Effective customer service skills. Ability to communicate with volunteer leaders and organizational staff with sensitivity. Experience in dealing with a variety of personalities and educational levels.
  • A strong track record of winning concrete campaign victories, mobilizing large numbers of people into action, and building community leadership.
  • Experience with power analysis and campaign development.
  • A strong unwavering commitment to the campaign’s theory of change for addressing concentrated and generational poverty.
  • A demonstrated commitment to social justice, strong analysis of systemic oppression based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, and an understanding of challenges facing communities of color and low-and moderate-income families.
  • Driver’s license and vehicle (see above for more details)
  • Dedication and ability to work flexible hours (including evenings and weekends)
  • Excellent organizational skills and good attention to detail
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A high level of self-motivation and a proven ability to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • Problem solving skills.
  • Capacity to engage community members one-on-one and run meetings and trainings.
  • Comfortable working in community and organizational environments characterized by VUCA(Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity). If you require predictability in you day-to-day work and rigid systems, this position may not be for you.
  • Strong commitment to innovation and experimentation – a commitment to creating, testing, “failing” and learning from “failure.”
  • Ability to work well with diverse groups and populations

Organizational Relationships:

  • The Lead Organizer will work closely with: a) the Executive Director/Project Director of SPACEs; b) volunteer community leaders and organizational partners; and c) on occasion, donors and/or potential donors.

Physical Demands:

  • Job requires an ability to stand or ‘be on your feet’ for at least 3 consecutive hours for the purpose of performing outreach and recruitment tasks and/or group facilitation/training. Job also requires an ability to stand at a copy machine or other device for 30 minutes or more. Lastly, the job requires significant local travel within the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Thus, the Lead Organizer should expect to spend anywhere from 30 to 60 consecutive minutes operating a vehicle.

Work Environment:

  • The Lead Organizer will work out of the SPACEs office in Washington, D.C. The office is handicap accessible and ergonomically friendly. In addition, it has adequate lighting and AC/heating conditions. The Organizer will occupy a desk or cubicle in an environment that has a low level of background noise.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a resume and cover letter through our hiring portal.

SPACES, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application."

How to apply

To apply submit resume and cover letter through our hiring portal: