Neighbors Together is a dynamic community-based organization committed to ending hunger and poverty in the Ocean Hill, Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods of Brooklyn, three of the lowest-income areas in New York City. Our dedicated 10-person staff works closely to serve 80,000 meals annually through our Community Café, connect hundreds of individuals and families to vital resources beyond food, such as housing and job training, and engage our members in community organizing and advocacy in city-wide and state-wide social justice campaigns.
Neighbors Together seeks a self-motivated, outgoing Community Organizer to work closely with our Community Action Program (CAP) Director to conduct outreach, base building, training, education and leadership development among our low-income members. The organizer will be responsible for membership involvement in city, state, and federal campaigns and coalitions working on issues related to our mission of ending hunger and poverty.
In 2010, we transitioned from a more traditional social service model to a membership based model that provides more ownership of the organization to the people utilizing our programs. We now hold weekly Membership Meetings as a forum to orient members new to Neighbors Together, provide leadership development, conduct popular education discussions about the causes of poverty, and develop campaigns. The Community Organizer will co-facilitate these meetings with member leaders, and implement leadership development trainings throughout the year.
The Community Organizer will work with our legal partners at Mobilization for Justice and the Community Action Program Director to assist with the Three Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project (TOP), as needed. TOP is a group of current and former three-quarter house tenants who are fighting against illegal treatment, raising awareness about the industry, and organizing for systemic change to create safer, more dignified affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers.
Additionally, the Community Organizer will work with the CAP Director and member leaders to design and implement a new in-house campaign based on results of our member survey and focus groups.
Key Responsibilities: The responsibilities of the Community Organizer include but are not limited to:
- Facilitate weekly Membership Meetings to provide opportunities for members to discuss internal operational issues, learn about the political process, discuss current events impacting the community, and identify upcoming advocacy and organizing opportunities.
- Facilitate semi-annual Leadership Development Training Program with CAP Director and core CAP member leaders, using Neighbors Together’s training curriculum. This 14-week training is designed for our most active members to deepen their skills and knowledge base to become their own best advocates and community leaders.
- Work under the supervision of the CAP Director to research, design, and pilot a small stipend program for 3-5 core member leaders who co-facilitate the Leadership Development Training Program, and assess effectiveness of stipend program.
- Work with CAP Director and a graphic designer to professionally lay out 14-week Leadership Development Training curriculum, and share materials with other agencies interested in integrating community organizing into their service model.
- Implement a new housing campaign based on results of our member survey and focus groups. Outreach and base-building to increase member participation, facilitate campaign related meetings, assist CAP Director with issue-based research to refine campaign context and direction.
- Conduct regular outreach to build awareness and increase member participation in CAP, TOP and new organizing initiatives.
- Identify and develop member leaders through one-on-ones, Neighbors Together’s Leadership Development Training series, Membership Meetings, and other forms of member engagement.
- Network with other groups that are organizing anti-poverty campaigns in New York and connect Neighbors Together members to those campaigns.
- Maintain updated statistics about member involvement in CAP using our online database.
- Collaborate with Neighbors Together staff to provide holistic support to all members.
- Actively participate in organizational planning with Neighbors Together staff.
Skills, Abilities & Qualifications:
- 2 years previous experience working as a community organizer with low-income people preferred.
- Bachelor’s Degree preferred; minimum Associate’s Degree required.
- Social work background and/or prior experience working with people with mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and history of incarceration preferred.
- Outgoing personality and ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds.
- Excellent organizational skills with ability to manage diverse projects simultaneously.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, interpersonal skills and self-motivation.
- Positive, proactive and personable team player.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative team.
- Strong self-starter, flexible and ability to problem solve creatively.
- Comfort with social media and digital communication preferred.
- Graphic design skills preferred.
- Special interest in building power among low-income people of color to fight for social, economic and racial justice.
- Ability and willingness to work flexible hours including evenings and some weekends.
How To Apply
To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to:
Amy Blumsack, Community Action Program Director
In your cover letter please describe your experience working as a community organizer, what you learned from that experience, and your philosophy of community organizing among low-income people. Cover letters that do not specifically address these three points will not be considered.
Please include “Community Organizer” in the subject line.
Level of Language Proficiency
- English required and Spanish proficiency preferred