The Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust Seeks Land Trust Coordinator (New England/Upstate New York)

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The Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust works to advance land sovereignty in the northeast region through permanent, secure land tenure for Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian farmers and land stewards who use the land in a sacred manner that honors our ancestors dreams – for regenerative farming, sustainable human habitat, ceremony, native ecosystem restoration, and cultural preservation.

Overview: The Land Trust Coordinator is responsible for managing all aspects of administration, programs, and community organizing during the start up phase of the land trust. The NEFOC membership is ready to support with the implementation of specific tasks in collaboration with the Coordinator. This position can be filled by one person, full time, or by two people as a part-time job share. The coordinator needs to live in (or relocate to) one of the New England states or upstate NY. Job is initially a work-from-home and in-the-community position.

Qualifications:

  1. Excellent grassroots organizing skills and Indigenous and Black cultural fluency. Can build relationships of trust and respect with a variety of communities, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and support harmonious collaboration within and between groups.
  2. Excellent communication skills, specifically implementing inclusive practices around, language, documentation, migration status and education disparities
  3. Alignment with the values of the NEFOC
  4. Passion for the intensity of coordinating the start-up phase of a new organization
  5. Relevant legal, financial, programmatic, and property management knowledge and experience so as to be able to perform the duties in the chart below
  6. Excellent organizational management track record
  7. Visionary – able to build this organization from the ground up and make it successful
  8. Able to work independently and problem-solve as NEFOC/SFFI do not have capacity to train and closely supervise

Specific Duties Over 2 Years

Community & Programs Organizational Development
  • Together with NEFOC member(s), participate in meetings and events with northeast indigenous communities with a goal of building relationships and deepening NEFOC’s support of their goals (4 meetings/year ongoing)
  • Visit the farms of NEFOC members with the goal of building relationships and deepening NEFOC’s support of their goals (4 visits/year ongoing)
  • Organize 2 convenings of NEFOC. (ongoing, 2 annual convenings)
  • Build NEFOC membership to 200 members.
  • Meet with allied/sibling organizations such as American Farmland Trust, Cooperative Development Institute, Urban Farming Institute, Black Family Land Trust, F.A.R.M.S., Agrarian Trust et al. to get advice about organizational development and brainstorm collaboration.
  • Manage and promote the reparations map project, with a target of 2 successes per quarter. (ongoing)
  • Coordinate the land trust’s acquisition of Acquire at least two properties by donation or purchase and lease properties to farmer(s) of color. (ongoing, target of 2 per year)
  • Manage NEFOC properties effectively, including buildings and grounds maintenance, paying of taxes or negotiating exemption, and attending to leaseholder needs and questions (ongoing.)
  • Coordinate at least two cultural respect or conservation easements for the benefit of indigenous communities. (ongoing, target of 2 per year)
  • Organize at least two fundraising/awareness campaign to support a northeast indigenous community in re-obtaining a parcel of land in their territories. (ongoing, target 2 per year)
  • Participate in national convenings related to land reform for people of color, such as Black Land and Power, National Indigenous Land Trust meetings, et al.
  • Create a program to provide technical support to Northeast farmers of color seeking to create their own land trusts, cooperatives, reduce their tax burden, navigate heir property, build equity, and other legal and financial matters related to making a life on land.
  • Connect to and/or establish a “landlink” program between farmers of color and land ownership and lease opportunities.
  • Develop additional strategies and programs to advance regional land sovereignty in response to the needs of NEFOC members and Northeast Indigenous communities.
  • Work with the membership to develop a mission and bylaws for the land trust.
  • Sign a retainer with a legal clinic who will assist with incorporation and tax exemption paperwork.
  • Build a Board of Directors comprised of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Northeast Indigenous, and Asian farmers and land stewards
  • Incorporate a nonprofit legal entity that can operate in the New England states and New York.
  • Open a bank account with check writing and debit card capacity.
  • Develop a bookkeeping system compatible with required IRS and state reporting.
  • Work from a home office, then establish an organizational office and meeting space.
  • Develop a website for the organization.
  • Establish a database of mailing addresses and emails.
  • Establish and maintain a social media presence of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al.
  • Send updates to the full membership at least monthly. (ongoing)
  • Obtain 501(c)3 tax exempt status with the IRS.
  • File for state and local tax exemptions.
  • Prepare annual report for the general membership and for Board of Soul Fire Farm Institute, Inc. (fiscal sponsor for NEFOC)
  • Develop specific annual benchmarks for approval by general membership and SFFI Board.
  • Establish a team of staff and volunteers to carry out land trust activities.
  • Establish a payroll system.
  • Purchase necessary insurance – workers comp, disability, property, unemployment et al. as required by law.
  • Fundraise for operating expenses by grant writing, donor cultivation, events, and other strategies. SFFI will fiscal sponsor and provide part of the operating budget for 2 years, after which the land trust should be financially independent.

Accountability:

  1. The director/coordinator of the land trust will be accountable to the board and general membership of the Northeast Farmers of Color network.
  2. The director/coordinator of the land trust will have fiduciary accountability to the board of Soul Fire Farm Institute, Inc. SFFI will incubate the Land Trust for up to 2 years, during which time SFFI will provide a salary and benefits to the director as well as part of its operating funds. By the 2 year mark, the director will establish organizational and fiduciary independence.
  3. Results/benchmarks need to be developed (include #farms #land in control of POC in northeast)

Compensation

  • Full time annual salary: $49,920 plus QSEHRA health plan, Simple IRA retirement plan
  • Part time (20 hours/week) annual salary: $24,960 plus QSEHRA health plan, Simple IRA retirement plan

Timeline

October 1-November 1: Applications Open

November 1-December 1: Interviews

December 1-December 15: Decision Making

January 1, 2019-December 31, 2020: 2 year contract term

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