Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

Vera aims to reform the criminal legal and immigration systems. Approaches to radically changing these systems require advocating effectively for change, engaging in principled partnerships, and working in strategic alignment with community stakeholders and movement allies to win.  

The Movement Strategy Associate will work with Vera colleagues to develop advocacy skills and expertise to drive successful advocacy campaigns.  

The Movement Strategy Associate will play a key role within the Advocacy and Partnerships department by helping teams engage in effective community mapping; landscape and power analyses; campaign planning and basic advocacy and organizing trainings to effect criminal legal and immigration reform. The Associate will also play an instrumental role in supporting new and emerging advocacy campaigns within Vera by providing strategic direction on campaign goals, strategy, and tactics.   

The Movement Strategy Associate will design basic grassroots advocacy trainings, find strategic opportunities for cross-movement engagement, and recruit thought leaders and movement trainers as part of our ongoing culture of learning, growth, and development.  

This person will also draft Advocacy and Partnerships’ Advocacy Fundamentals training modules for Vera Initiatives and for our monthly advocacy learning and training space: Advocacy, Legislative Change and Campaigns (ALCC). 

This position will be part of the Advocacy and Partnerships department, reporting to the Director of Movement Strategy. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Provide organizing and advocacy support for Vera projects across a variety of issues in partnership with the Director of Movement Strategy. 

  • Work with Vera project teams to implement advocacy goals, objectives, strategies, tactics, and workplan. 
  • Facilitate small and large group advocacy strategy sessions with colleagues on power, positionality, community accountability and community mapping.  
  • Conduct trainings on power analysis, landscape analysis, grassroots advocacy, strategy development using Midwest Academy tools and other campaign planning tools.

Collaborate across Vera to build the movement strategy support system 

  • Collaborate across the Advocacy and Partnerships team (government, federal, Insights) and across Vera (place-based, initiatives, special projects) to support the development of a robust and effective system for Vera initiative teams to win.  
  • Drive a program of advocacy stewardship using webinars, office hours, tools, resource sharing, and other means as needed.  
  • Provide support and maintain relationship with Advocacy, Legislative Change & Campaigns (ALCC) participants by identifying resources to support participants’ advocacy and movement building goals. 

Contribute to Advocacy and Partnerships annual goals  

  • Align Movement Strategy goals to Advocacy and Partnerships’ Race, Equity, and Inclusion (REI) goals; information sharing and team-building goals, government and federal policy goals, and Vera Insights goals.  
  • Support reflection and learning across Advocacy and Partnerships.

 Facilitate and attend meetings with grassroots and community partners as necessary 

  • Request, schedule and attend meetings with Vera Initiative staff as requested 
  • Prepare meeting materials and facilitate debriefs after meetings

Administrative Duties 

  • Help to ensure responsiveness to internal and external requests 
  • Assist with calendaring and setting up meetings as needed

 Other duties as assigned 

  • Supervise interns as required 

What qualifications do you need?

Required: 

  • Bachelor’s degree + 3-5 years of experience with advocacy campaigns, liaising with advocacy, grass tops, grassroots and community partners; in lieu of degree requirement, applicable work or life experience may be considered 

Preferred: 

  • Lived experience as a person directly impacted by the criminal-legal and/or immigrations system   
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial justice. 
  • Women and People of Color are encouraged to apply

Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: 

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite 
  • Skilled at research 
  • Must have project management and time management skills
  • You are flexible and able to multi-task, prioritize, and manage multiple activities in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Skilled communicator, collaborator, team player who takes initiative.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills. Ability to work collaboratively, including virtually.

Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for this position is $75,000 - $80,000. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time. Please note Vera employees adhere to a hybrid schedule: two days in office their first week and three days in office every alternating week. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Associate, Movement Strategy, Advocacy and Partnerships
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. 

For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org

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