The Department of Social Services (DSS) encompasses both the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), and collectively serves more than 3 million New Yorkers annually by connecting them to key benefits, such as SNAP, Cash Assistance, eviction prevention, key legal services, and by providing high-quality shelter, in addition to connecting New Yorkers with permanent, affordable housing. The Agency also plays a critical role in shaping citywide, statewide, and even national policy related to fighting poverty in all its forms, partnering with think tanks, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, elected officials, and other government agencies on a wide variety of initiatives.
General Statement of Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direction of the Executive Director of Advocacy and Access, with very wide latitude for independent initiative, decision-making, and judgment, the Director of Racial Equity Initiatives is responsible for advancing racial equity within DSS/HRA/DHS. The Director is also responsible for reporting on progress toward achieving specific indicators to the City Council. The Director will work collaboratively with DSS, HRA, and DHS leadership, DSS’s Gender Equity Liaison, as well as the Mayor’s Office and the City Council, to advance this agenda and measure the success of DSS/HRA/DHS in achieving its goals. The Director will be responsible for researching, identifying, and applying best practices in organizational racial equity assessments and initiatives. The Director will chair a steering committee on racial equity comprised of DSS, HRA, and DHS staff. The Director will work with various stakeholders to increase equity in how DSS, HRA, and DHS services are provided to clients.
- Coordinates with key internal and external stakeholders to design and conduct an organizational racial equity assessment of DSS/HRA/DHS, concerning both clients and staff, utilizing best practices in racial equity analysis and theory; (20%)
- Develops a racial equity agenda for DSS/HRA/DHS informed by the racial equity assessment, best practices in organizational change management and racial equity theory and practice, prepares goals and action plans; (15%)
- Operationalizes a racial equity initiative agency-wide, through collaboration and with buy-in from leadership and staff at all organizational tiers to advance racial equity at DSS/HRA/DHS, while also being aware of intersectionality with other characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation, and income; (20%)
- Chairs an independent, internal committee comprised of DSS, HRA, and DHS staff responsible for supporting the work of advancing racial equity and navigating organizational change; (10%)
- Researches, collects, and analyzes data on the effectiveness of the racial equity work being performed at DSS; utilizes data to inform strategy; (10%)
- Designs and implements a sustainable, long-term model for DSS to carry out effective racial equity training; (5%)
- Identifies and assesses existing resources and unmet needs for designing and implementing a racial equity assessment and operationalizing best practices within DSS/HRA/DHS, including but not limited to: consultants, training, and other external resources; (5%)
- Liaises between DSS/HRA/DHS and the City Council on the agencies’ progress toward meeting specific racial equity goals as identified by the City Council; (5%)
- Serves as a liaison with various city agencies, community-based organizations, labor unions, and advocates to solicit input and to advance a racial equity agenda for DSS/HRA/DHS clients and staff; (5%)
- Serves as DSS’s racial equity committee member for the Mayor’s office. (5%)
Preferred Skills and Experience
- Admission to the New York State Bar.
- Knowledge of DHS, HRA and related social services and homeless services policies at the city, state, and federal levels.
- Experience working on racial equity and social justice initiatives within and on behalf of large organizations; an understanding of organizational change management.
- Training experience; knowledge of human resources and staff development best practices.
- Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with a wide range of people.
- Management/supervisory experience.
- Ability to successfully and patiently navigate challenges and conflict, and to achieve buy-in from stakeholders at many levels, both internal and external.
- Adept at navigating sensitive, nuanced organizational and interpersonal challenges, conversations, and situations.
- Experience working with community based organizations and advocates.
- Experience with statistics, records-keeping, and data analysis.
- Excellent communication skills, including writing and presentation skills.
- Ability to manage projects; excellent follow-through.
- Fluency with various technology and software: proficiency in Microsoft Suite of programs.
- Ability to exercise complete discretion when handling sensitive or confidential information.
- Highly motivated individual, self-starter who can exercise solid, independent judgment.
- Ability to work under pressure, effectively prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and adapt to new circumstances.
- Excellent strategic and public relations skills.
- Team player who works collaboratively and models kindness and respect for all.
- Bilingual skills a plus.
Proposed Salary Range: $58,675- $90,000
Candidates can send resumes and cover letters to: Mitchellcam@dss.nyc.gov