Racial Justice Center Director


Racial Justice Center

Terms of Employment:



New York Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY


 $140,000 - $170,000 (dependent on experience)

Application Deadline:

Applications will be considered until position is filled


The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation's leading advocates on behalf of constitutional rights and liberties.  Founded in 1951, as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with more than 140,000 members and supporters, and eight offices statewide. We work in the courts, in the legislatures and on the streets to advocate for racial and economic justice, free speech, freedom of religion, privacy and equality before the law for all New Yorkers. For more information please visit our website: www.nyclu.org.


The NYCLU affirmatively values the humanity and contributions of those we work with, inside and outside of the organization; and will take action to build and sustain an equitable, anti-racist culture that centers the voices and experiences of marginalized and directly impacted people and communities, and an organizational environment where all people feel valued, trusted, and respected. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and having a workforce that reflects the population that we serve and actively recruit people of color, women, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people.

Summary Description

The NYCLU seeks an experienced, innovative, and dynamic leader who thrives in a fast-paced organization to shape and direct a new Racial Justice Center. This position requires a professional who has an extensive background in racial equity work, with an emphasis on policy and legislative advocacy and/or civil rights litigation, and who can skillfully design, implement and support racial justice approaches to a broad docket of civil rights and civil liberties issues. The position requires someone with proven management experience, who is a creative critical thinker and excellent communicator, and who is relationship-oriented and collaborative in planning and executing work.

The Racial Justice Center will be the NYCLU’s homebase for thinking, writing, advocating, and organizing for racial equity in New York. The Center director and staff will lead the NYCLU’s work to achieve racial equity and justice, challenge racial discrimination, and work in close collaboration with communities of color across the state, including Indigenous communities, to protect and promote civil rights. The Center will have a particular focus on the intersectionality of racial justice with other NYCLU priority areas, such as reform of the criminal legal system, economic justice, privacy, reproductive rights, LGTBQ+ rights, immigration, and education.

The Center Director will work closely with the Executive Director and other leaders in the organization to shape the Center’s priorities, identify new areas of work, and recruit an interdisciplinary team to staff the Center. The Center Director and staff will be part of a growing statewide team—which includes our Legal, Policy, and Field Organizing Departments, the Education Policy Center and six Regional Offices, as well as the ACLU nationwide affiliate network— and will collaborate to ensure that the NYCLU uses an integrated approach to furthering racial justice in New York.

This position directly reports to the Executive Director and is a member of the Senior Management Team.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Establish and implement statewide strategies for the NYCLU to address racial injustice through an integrated program of advocacy, research, organizing, lobbying, public education and litigation.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to define the Center’s strategic priorities and build a portfolio with a focus on identifying new areas of work, adjusting existing work to reflect a racial justice analysis, and advancing work where the NYCLU is currently engaged.
  • Work across NYCLU’s departments and working groups to develop and implement a racial justice docket and messaging, including adjusting our existing work where necessary to better reflect a racial justice analysis.
  • Provide leadership and support to the NYCLU’s Racial Justice Working Group, an interdepartmental group of NYCLU staff working to advance racial justice.
  • Build strong and resilient partnerships with allied organizations, experts, and policymakers.
  • Identify and assemble an interdisciplinary team to execute the Center’s work plan.
  • Manage and supervise Center staff, including conducting regular performance evaluations and developing and implementing individualized professional development plans.
  • Supervise and direct the day-to-day functioning of the Center.
  • Work with the Development Department to identify new revenue opportunities to grow the Center’s staffing and work.
  • Provide leadership, strategy, and coordination across the organization on racial justice issues.
  • Serve as a key external spokesperson on racial justice issues in the press, the legislature, internal discussions, the nationwide ACLU network, and NYCLU publications.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field and urgent threats to racial justice and guide our responses.
  • Actively support the NYCLU’s internal and external commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


  • 10+ years of progressive responsibility in policy advocacy and/or litigation in areas at the intersection of racial justice, civil rights, and civil liberties. Our ideal candidate will be able to successfully integrate all parts of our multi-disciplinary toolbox.
  • 5+ years of progressive management experience, supervising and directing a diverse team of professionals, including litigators, policy advocates, and/or organizers.
  • A graduate degree in a relevant field, such as public policy or law, is preferred.
  • A sophisticated analysis and knowledge of racial injustice and white supremacy in America, its history and manifestations, and movements to demolish it.
  • Demonstrated success working with communities of color on civil rights or other policy issues.
  • Demonstrated project and time management skills, including organization, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging in creative problem solving, strategic flexibility, and good judgment.
  • Experience with strategic planning.
  • Excellent communications skills, and the ability to effectively communicate complex issues to diverse audiences.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills.
  • A well-developed network of allies and partners in civil rights, civil liberties, or related fields, and the ability work collaboratively and diplomatically.
  • A strong personal commitment to honoring diversity and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstances is a must.
  • Willingness to travel (mostly within New York State) for speaking events, meetings, and conferences.

How to apply

Please submit your resume and cover letter via https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/Details/1141289/New-York-Civil-Liberties-Union-Foundation/Racial-Justice-Center-Director

The NYCLU is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, sex, gender identity or expression, age, disability, religion, national origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and having a workforce that reflects the communities that we serve.

The NYCLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail ldecicco@nyclu.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.



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