Job Overview

  • Date Posted
    February 12, 2024
  • Location
  • Offered Salary
    $72700 / year
  • Expiration date
    February 29, 2024

Job Description

At Vocal Justice, we position youth who are proximate to injustice as leaders for social change. We do this by partnering with educators to cultivate learning conditions for youth that strengthen their community, critical consciousness, and communication skills. Ultimately, we believe that every young person deserves an education that affirms their identities, builds their social awareness, and prepares them to speak out against the very injustices they may have experienced firsthand.

Our flagship program is our Teacher Fellowship. Every school year, we pay and train about 30 middle and high school teachers to facilitate our youth power-building curriculum at their schools, and share feedback about our youth curriculum and professional learning workshops. We use that feedback to update our offerings and sell them to educators beyond our fellowship. Our priority regions are Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Jackson, MS; and New Orleans, LA.

In the long-term, we plan to advance structural changes to the U.S. education system, advocating for new curriculum standards, assessments, and funding allocations that make social justice education and youth power core to every school.

Since 2019, we have engaged 2000+ young people and 55+ educators in our programs; raised over $1M from Echoing Green, New Profit, Chicago Beyond, and other funders; and built a team of 4 full-time staff, 9 Board Members, and 9 Youth Advisory Council members.

<aside> 💡 Review our strategic plan to learn more about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

</aside>

🚀 Role Overview

We’re eager to hire a Program Manager to help bring us closer to a world where every young person is inspired and prepared to advocate for justice — wherever they choose to lead in life.

The Program Manager will recruit, select, and coach middle and high school teachers across the U.S. on how to integrate our youth power-building curriculum into their schools; refine our youth curriculum and create supplementary materials; analyze data from youth and teachers to inform program improvements; brainstorm and oversee new initiatives to expand our reach; and serve as a thought partner to our Director of Programming and Critical Consciousness.

We’re looking for someone who:

  • Is frustrated by our education system’s failure to build leaders for liberation, yet optimistic about our ability to change that;
  • Cares about youth power, not just youth voice;
  • Thinks expansively about how to integrate critical pedagogy and youth power into schools across unique geographies and sociopolitical contexts;
  • Is driven to take initiative, but with intention and care;
  • Brings levity and love to their work;
  • Is as thoughtful as they are vocal; and
  • Is eager to tackle the ever-changing tasks of a burgeoning social venture on a bold mission to rethink what education can and should look like.

This is a full-time, remote role that begins late April 2024. A minimum two-year commitment is required. The first-year salary is fixed at $72,700 and will increase annually based on performance and organizational budget. Benefits include healthcare, unlimited vacation; 401(k); and funding for work equipment and professional development.

No specific degree or years of work experience is needed. Every applicant must be legally authorized to be a full-time employee in the U.S.

The Program Manager will report directly to our Director of Programming and Critical Consciousness, Naomi Daugherty, who is based in New Orleans, LA; and will occasionally work with our Founder and Executive Director, Shawon Jackson, who is based in Oakland, CA.

Responsibilities & Work Schedule

Responsibilities

  • Teacher Fellowship (45%)
    • Manage recruitment, selection, and onboarding for the Vocal Justice Teacher Fellowship.
    • Develop the scope and sequence for and facilitate virtual professional learning and community-building sessions for Vocal Justice teachers every month.
    • Identify and invite external facilitators to lead workshops on racial justice, storytelling, youth power, and critical pedagogy for Vocal Justice teachers.
    • Manage logistics for the Vocal Justice Teacher Fellowship, including emails to teachers and Google Classroom maintenance.
    • Host check-ins with Vocal Justice teachers to understand how programming is going at their schools, and provide follow-on support to teachers as needed.
  • Youth Curriculum Development (35%)
    • Build and revise Vocal Justice lesson plans to reflect youth and teacher input, latest academic research, pedagogical best practices, and changing sociopolitical contexts.
    • Create and update written and video materials that guide Vocal Justice teachers on how to best use curriculum content.
  • Data and Evaluation (15%)
    • Design, distribute, and analyze feedback surveys for youth and teachers to complete, helping us understand program impact and areas for improvement.
  • Thought Partnership (5%)
    • Serve as the right-hand person to the Director of Programming and Critical Consciousness, and advise on how to enhance and sell our program offerings to schools and out-of-school organizations.

Work Schedule

  • Remote work, ****with the exception of in-person retreats / events (3-4 times per year)
    • Vocal Justice will cover travel and lodging expenses for retreats. Locations will vary.
  • Full-time (40 hours per week), with a minimum two-year commitment
    • Work schedules are flexible, though you should at least be available Monday through Friday between 11AM and 5PM CT for team meetings and Slack / email communications.
    • Evening work is required 1-2 times per month given teachers’ schedules.
  • Start date: Late April 2024

What We’re Looking For

🧭 Qualifications

In line with our commitment to equity, candidates do not need to have certain degrees or a particular number of years working full-time. What’s important is that you have:

  • An unwavering commitment to elevating the voices of youth who are proximate to injustice, and building their capacity to advocate for social justice in ways that are authentic to them.
  • A strong ability to create and facilitate professional learning experiences for middle and high school educators that focus on liberatory education and youth power-building.
  • A strong ability to build and revise standards-aligned curriculum and lesson supports, including worksheets and visual aids to support teachers who facilitate our curriculum.
  • Familiarity with academic research on critical consciousness, youth voice, and healing-centered engagement; as well as common core, SEL, and social justice learning standards.
  • A strong ability to summarize quantitative and qualitative feedback and identify actionable insights, using tools like Airtable and Google Spreadsheets.
  • A strong attention to detail and willingness to dive into administrative tasks.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • High emotional intelligence and a resourceful, abundance mindset.
  • An ability to embrace flexibility and willingness to support other teammates.
  • A desire and ability to work independently; move with intentional agency; share and receive critical feedback; and bring authenticity, warmth, and vulnerability to the workplace.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Starting Salary: $72,700 (non-negotiable)
  • One-time $1500 work-from-home stipend
  • Annual $1500 professional development stipend (for conferences, classes, etc.)
  • 100% coverage for medical, dental, and vision insurance (50% coverage for dependents)
  • 401(k), including a 4% matching contribution from Vocal Justice
  • Generous time off
    • Organizational Rest Periods
      • 1 week off in early July
      • 1 week off the week of Thanksgiving
      • 3 weeks off in late December / early January
    • All U.S. Federal Holidays
    • Unlimited Personal Time Off
      • Employees can take off however many days they’d like, so long as they stay on top of their work and provide reasonable advance notice.
      • We require staff to take at least 10 days per year (on top of rest periods and holidays).

Selection Process

Review carefully and plan accordingly. Toggle open for details. Dates may change slightly.

  • Stage 1: Initial Application — Due by 2PM CT on Thursday, February 29 [apply here]

    <aside> 💡 To mitigate bias, we will score stage one applications without looking at names or demographic information. Each application will receive scores from two reviewers.

    </aside>

    Application Components

    • 1-2 page resume (remove name before submitting)
    • Short responses
      • Why do you want this role? (150 words max)
      • Why are you the right person for this role? (350 words max)
      • What else would you like to share? (100 words max) [Optional]
    • Demographic information

    You will receive a status update by 2PM CT on Thursday, March 14.

    • About 15 applicants will move to stage two.
  • Stage 2: Performance Tasks — Due by 2PM CT on Tuesday, March 19

    <aside> 💡 Please block time in advance to complete these tasks in case you move to stage two. Expected time commitment is 4 hours. We’ll pay you $80 for this work.

    </aside>

    Two Performance Tasks

    • Task 1: Create a Vocal Justice lesson plan [3 hours max]
      • Design a lesson plan based on learning objectives we give you, along with feedback from youth participants and teachers. When building, also consider your own knowledge of what types of activities effectively build community, critical consciousness, and communication skills; and integrate well into existing academic classes. We’d like you to share the thinking behind your design too.
    • Task 2: Share your story [1 hour max]
      • Submit a 3-minute video sharing your story — highlighting your values, passions, and ambitions — and how it’s led you to apply for this role at Vocal Justice.

    You will receive a status update by 2PM CT on Friday, March 22.

    • About 5 applicants will move to stage 3.
  • Stage 3: Panel Interview — Tuesday, March 26 to Thursday, March 28

    <aside> 💡 Before your interview, we will ask you to submit contact information for three professional references, including at least one person who’s managed you. We will only contact your references if you move to stage 4.

    </aside>

    This 30-minute interview will take place over Zoom. You will meet with our Director of Programming and Critical Consciousness, Naomi; another VJ staff member; a VJ teacher; and one of our Youth Advisory Council members.

    You will receive a status update by 2PM CT on Friday, March 29.

    • About 3 applicants will move to stage 4. All applicants who move to stage 4 will automatically move to stage 5.
  • Stage 4: Reference Calls — Monday, April 1 to Thursday, April 4

    <aside> 💡 Please ensure your references are available between April 1 and 4 in case you make it to stage 4.

    </aside>

    Reference calls will be conducted by a VJ staff member and be 30 minutes each.

  • Stage 5: Final Interview — Monday, April 8 to Tuesday, April 9

    This 45-minute interview will take place over Zoom. You will meet with our Director of Programming and Critical Consciousness, Naomi, as well as our Founder and Executive Director, Shawon. Another VJ staff member may join.

    You will receive a status update by 2PM CT on Thursday, April 18.

Closing Thoughts

🌷 Thank you for considering us. If you apply, please:

  • Prepare — Review this post and our website carefully to understand what we’re looking for.
  • Be specific — Use examples to show your talents. Avoid jargon.
  • Keep it real — Who you are is crucial to this work; let that come through.

🌏 We strongly encourage individuals who are or have been proximate to injustice to apply.

💌 If you have questions or concerns, please email Naomi: [email protected]