Program Coordinator, Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, Texas Organizing Project

Program Coordinator, Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (Houston, TX)

About the Texas Organizing Project (TOP): Founded in 2009, TOP, has become the leading statewide organizing group in Texas, advancing racial and economic justice through community and electoral organizing. Our programs are anchored in the three largest metro regions of the state, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.  We have a base of over 100,000 members and supporters who are reflective Texas’ growing population - people of color, low-moderate income families.  Through on the ground organizing, grass-roots leader trainings, direct action, policy advocacy and electoral engagement we have made gains in policy solutions and public investments in neighborhood infrastructure, family sustaining jobs, affordable housing, community schools, health access and immigrant rights. TOP also runs the largest independent grassroots electoral field operation in the state, activating over 200,000 voters of color each election cycle.

About the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI):  Boards and commissions are powerful governing bodies with the ability to influence important local policy and investment decisions.  Texas Organizing Project’s research has revealed that appointees to our local boards and commissions in the largest Texas cities are overwhelmingly white men, and are overwhelmingly white.  In an effort to create a more reflective composition of our local boards and commissions we are launching a new program to recruit, support, train and place women of color who are eager to serve on local boards and commissions to become fierce and effective advocates for their communities. 

The BCLI provides advocates with not just a voice, but a vote at the table. We recruit people from local organizations working with low-income communities and communities of color on important policy initiatives. The BCLI fellows are distinguished by a passion to change systems by learning the “inside game,” with a deep commitment and ongoing connection to organizing and advocacy organizations.  We deeply invest in each cohort through our six-month BCLI fellowship, which teaches participants to understand complex and intersecting policy arenas, navigate the culture and language of commissions, and build effective relationships in and outside the commission.  The BCLI training helps fellows leverage their seat on boards and commissions to bring race and class to the forefront of local and regional policies and plans.

The BCLI program was developed by and continues to be supported by Urban Habitat.

Position Summary: TOP is seeking a dynamic, progressive leader to carry out program implementation for the new BCLI Program in Houston. The ideal candidate is well networked in the city among progressive organizations and movement leaders, has a clear understanding of the workings of boards and commissions, and is invested in leadership development opportunities for lower-income women and women of color.   The Program Coordinator will report directly to TOP’s statewide training director and will work closely with TOP’s policy director and Harris County Campaign Director.  In close coordination with TOP’s leadership staff in Houston, and with leaders of allied organizations, the Program Coordinator will identify participants, tailor the curriculum, recruit speakers and trainers, and facilitate the placement and ongoing support of the BCLI fellows to serve on boards and commissions.  The Houston BCLI program’s first cohort will focus in the area of economic opportunity and development. 

Key Areas of Responsibility:

1)  Build the cohort of BCLI Fellows

  • Engage in outreach to TOP allies to have them nominate staff or members to the program.

  • Work with other TOP staff to find appropriate candidates from within TOP.

  • Conduct the interview and selection process.

2)  Implement the training program

  • Identify BCLI training needs and learning objectives, and design curriculum.

  • Insure that the curriculum supports TOP’s current community led initiatives around economic justice.  (This is for the initial year.)

  • Develop and maintain local network of content experts and consultants.

  • Recruit and prepare trainers and content consultants from local network of experts.

  • Connect BCLI fellows with policy makers and elected officials as part of the training.

  • Coordinate curriculum content with TOP’s Director of Policy and TOP’s Harris County Campaign Director

3)  Facilitate placement of participants to relevant boards and commissions

  • Match BCLI fellows to appropriate boards and commissions.  In 2017 we will be focusing on boards and commissions which support the community’s economic opportunity and development initiatives.

  • Assist BCLI fellows in applying for positions on boards and commissions.

4)  Create mechanisms for ongoing support of BCLI appointees

  • Build a network of technical advisors and mentors for the BCLI appointees.

  • Identify additional content training needed by BCLI appointees.

  • Work with allies to integrate BCLI appointees into their roles through introductions and other support as necessary.

  • Create systems to keep BCLI appointees engaged with the organizations that originally nominated them and with the community economic opportunity and development initiatives.

5)  Publicly promote BCLI

  • Promote in the public eye the BCLI program, the fellows and appointees.

  • Coordinate all BCLI media outreach and promotional materials with TOP’s Communications Director.

  • Represent TOP BCLI at conferences, public meetings, and media events, as needed. 

  • Coordinate special projects, assignments, activities, and other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Education and training: Bachelor’s degree, content knowledge in economic development a plus.

  • Work experience: At least three (3) years’ experience in public policy, public administration, civic engagement or community organizing.

  • Specific skills/subject knowledge:

    • Experience with training, facilitation, and curriculum development.

    • Knowledge of the field and experience with race and class focused trainings that integrate a justice (social, environmental economic, or gender) lens.

    • Experience working with or significant exposure to grassroots organizing.

    • Ability to build effective relationships with community, policy, labor, and government stakeholders; existing relationships in Houston politics and social justice organizations a plus.

    • Political acumen and prior experience developing and implementing social justice policy campaigns.

    • Knowledge of and experience working in community led issue campaigns, ideally in one or more of these issues areas: economic development, healthcare, immigration, education, jobs, neighborhood standards, voting.

    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

    • Organized and detail-oriented. Takes initiative, is creative and resourceful.

    • Ability to effectively manage multiple projects and work well under tight deadlines.

    • Can exercise high level of autonomous decision making and problem solving.

    • Exemplary proficiency in interpersonal communication, listening and conflict resolution; diplomatic in resolving issues.

    • Emotional intelligence and professional self-management under pressure.

    • Bilingual in Spanish and English a plus.

    • Computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office.

    • Must have own vehicle.

Characteristics of the Position

  • Job requires some evening and weekend activities

  • Salary will be commensurate with experience.

  • Benefits include comprehensive medical, dental, vision, 401(k), paid holidays, vacation, sick leave, and travel reimbursement.

Applicants should email cover letter, resume, and references to: with “BCLI Program Coordinator” in the subject line. 

TOP is an equal opportunity employer – women and people of color are encouraged to apply.