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Advocacy Associate

Status: Full-time

Location: Brooklyn, NY or Remote

Reports to: Director of Research and Advocacy

Application Deadline: January 28, 2022

The National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI) is a nonprofit research and policy organization working to eliminate racial and gender disparities in the U.S. criminal legal system. Our work specifically focuses on the criminalization and punishment of Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people, aiming to bring attention to the ways that race and gender discrimination create conditions that heighten Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people’s risk of coming into contact with the criminal legal system and their risk of harsher treatment by law enforcement, courts, and other systems and institutions of criminalization and punishment. Our approach is grounded in an intersectional framework, and our mission is to uplift the voices of Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people to position their needs and experiences at the center of research, policy, and practice. At NBWJI, we envision a society where healing—not punishment—is upheld as justice.

What you’ll do. NBWJI is hiring an Advocacy Associate who is passionate about developing and implementing policy and advocacy strategies that promote race and gender equity and advance the wellbeing of system-impacted Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people. The Advocacy Associate will work closely with the Director of Research and Advocacy to carry out NBWJI’s policy and advocacy projects. Your primary responsibilities will be to help develop and implement a policy agenda aligned with NBWJI’s strategic goals; to analyze current policies and practices affecting system-impacted Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people and propose policy recommendations and new alternatives; and to lead projects with the capacity to transform practice. In particular, you will support the development and implementation of a national network of advocates, scholars, direct service providers, and researchers working to expand gender-specific and culturally-affirming diversion and reentry services. To that end, you will also be responsible for aiding in coalition-building and strategic partnerships, providing research assistance, and supporting legislative and/or issue campaigns. The Advocacy Associate will be an integral part of the advocacy and research team.


  • Building a national network to expand gender-specific and culturally-affirming diversion and reentry services, including identifying and recruiting network members; coordinating regular network meetings; and planning an annual convening of network members.

  • Provide strategic technical assistance to state campaign advocates on a range of issues, like coalition management, communication/media, policy, research and data, connecting campaigns to the broader campaign network and to experts in the field.

  • Communicating regularly with lawmakers, policymakers, and state advocates to educate, promote, and advance the organization’s policy agenda.

  • Organize and participate in advocacy events (e.g., online advocacy, letter writing campaigns, etc.)

  • Develop strategies and tools for dealing with shared challenges and opportunities for the movement and disseminate these to the field.

  • Identify research and training needs for the field and coordinate response to these needs, including identifying appropriate trainers and training opportunities.

  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.

  • Represent NBWJI at various meetings, conferences and events, and participate in relevant speaking opportunities.

  • Undertake other assignments as necessary, which may include developing advocacy resources and other communications.

Who we’re looking for.

  • You are committed to (and have experience) engaging in advocacy strategies for and with directly impacted people.

  • You have knowledge and understanding of a range of topics related to movement building, policy making, and political power building.

  • You have knowledge and understanding of politics, issues, and policies affecting criminalized Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people.

  • You have strong relationship management skills to effectively work with stakeholders, advocates, legislators, and people of various backgrounds.

  • You are well-versed in the concept of intersectionality and its utility as a framework for analyzing and challenging current policy and practice and identifying new strategies for action.

  • You are preferably experienced in evidence-informed policymaking related to the criminalization and punishment of Black women, girls and gender nonconforming people directly impacted by the criminal legal system and/or issues regarding youth justice, gender-based violence/criminalized survivors, and policing.

  • You are resourceful, strategic, and an excellent problem solver.

  • Prior experience in event planning and training facilitation is a plus.


  • Expertise. You have a demonstrated success in campaign work, including building effective alliances; policy and/or legislative victories; demonstrated awareness-raising; and campaign expansion. You have a minimum of 5+ years of relational organizing experience for issue- or policy-based campaigns. At least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as political science, public administration, public affairs, public policy, or a relevant social science field is preferred.

  • Project management. You are detail-oriented, flexible, have the ability to multitask, and understand how to prioritize and delegate work as needed.

  • Communication. You have excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to create clear, concise, and convincing messages tailored to a specific audience. You have experience presenting to large audiences, and you are adept at communicating complex ideas and concepts in an accessible manner. Experience with blogs, briefs, website content, and social media is a plus.

  • Leadership & Collaboration. You value collaboration and have experience leading strategic alliances and cross-sector campaign work. You are open to sharing and receiving feedback. And you are interested in finding synergies between projects. You have the ability to take initiative and work both independently and collaboratively.

  • Travel. Some travel is required, although all travel is on hold at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Salary. The position offers a salary in the range of $60,000 to $80,000, commensurate with experience. NBWJI offers employee benefits that include health coverage and paid time off. The position is full-time (FLSA: Exempt) and will be able to work remotely.

Equal Opportunity Employment. The National Black Women’s Justice Institute provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants without regard to race/ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, age, criminal history, or disability. NBWJI encourages people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system to apply.

To Apply. Candidates who are qualified by experience, skill, and personal motivation are invited to apply. Please submit a statement of interest, a current resume, and a work product you believe exemplifies why you are a strong candidate for the position to Email subject lines should include your first and last name and the position you’re applying for. No phone calls please.

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