Cultural Strategist (Social Policy Consultant)

Posted by
Seeding Success
Memphis, TN
Published 10 days ago

Job Description 

Job Title: Cultural Strategist 

Reports to: Seeding Success - Chief Policy Officer                       Date: 9/10/21 


Blue Meridian Partners is a pioneering philanthropic model for finding and funding scalable solutions to problems that limit economic mobility and trap America’s young people and families in poverty. Blue Meridian’s Place Matters portfolio aims to improve economic and social mobility in communities across the US through investments both in place-based partnerships and in supports to catalyze their success. 

BMP has chosen to invest in Memphis and Shelby County through its Place Matters portfolio. The investment, which will be managed by Seeding Success and the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, is designed to help our community have access to resources and expertise to plan for the future – including equitable recovery from crises in the near-term and economic and social mobility in the long-term. Working in collaboration with the Kresge Foundation’s Shared Prosperity Partnership initiative, this effort will bring together many community members and leaders, nonprofits, businesses, and public institutions to define the challenges of our social and economic systems and policies; and identify sustainable solutions that make a shared vision for a thriving Shelby County a reality. 

Under the grant awarded by BMP, the Place Matters: Memphis partnership is expected to accomplish the following over two years:  

  • Develop a community-wide investment plan that articulates crucial goals, priorities, policy changes, and specific actions for improving social and economic mobility in Shelby County.  
  • Establish a community-wide data infrastructure.  
  • Implement COVID-19 recovery response. 


The strategist will work alongside a team of content experts that supports the development of a social and economic mobility strategic plan for the Memphis and Shelby County community. The strategic planning work is broken down into the six ‘Place Matters Content Areas’ described below. The Cultural Strategist will be assigned to the Place Matters’ Culture content area.

Place Matters Content Areas


This area will examine elements of the city that need to be preserved and cultivated to ensure that Memphis will always be Memphis. This group will consider public policy strategies to promote music, visual and culinary art, recreation, and locations dedicated to the preservation of artifacts, objects, and moments of cultural, artistic, historical, and scientific importance. The Culture work group will also analyze issues related to civil rights and social justice in collaboration with the Justice and Safety work group.

Education and Youth Development 

This content area will cover all elements of a child’s development–including prenatal, early childhood, K-12 education, and postsecondary education. In addition to the supports and services necessary for a child to develop academic skills, this area will consider issues such as noncognitive skills and social and emotional development. The Education and Youth Development working group will explore two-generation strategies and other systems-level approaches.

Health and Well-being 

This content area takes a broad view of the factors necessary for physical and mental health. This Health and Well-being working group will examine policies and consider policy change in perennially-discussed sectors such as health care access/provision, public health, and mental health. Analyses may entail a review of structures of welfare and social service programs–to understand where services can be improved or transformed to better address the needs of historically marginalized people in Memphis. This group will also analyze systems that not only cure illness but promote wellbeing, such as food and agriculture. 

Economic Development 

This content area will cover the local and regional economy, from the perspective of labor, employers, and finance. The Economic Development group will review issues related to workforce, wages and worker protections, and entrepreneurship and business development. This group will also examine crucial infrastructure and services necessary to build a workforce and a thriving business sector–such as a high-quality transportation system. 

Justice and Safety 

This content area will examine critical policies necessary for all residents to feel safe and have voice in their city. The Justice and Safety group will consider issues of equity and effectiveness in criminal justice, and devise policies to improve the system. This area will also consider policy areas related to who has a voice in the community, and how residents are heard; in particular, this group will explore strategies to support the needs of immigrant communities and to support voter rights and local democracy. 

Community Development

The Community Development content area will consider what makes a strong neighborhood. This group will examine issue areas critical to thriving communities, including housing, parks, the environment, and walkable/bikeable/multimodal infrastructure. This group will consider how public and private capital and finance affect crucial community investments, and policy changes that could reverse neighborhood disinvestment. Finally, this group will also examine policies to address chronic city-wide and neighborhood problems such as homelessness.

Key Tasks 

The Strategist will work in collaboration with the focus area lead organizations and a diverse group of community members, who serve on the project’s Advisory Council (or Council). This leadership role requires development of public policy, and some facilitation of content specific work groups to execute four key tasks: 

  1. provide policy analysis related to the content-specific work group to empower stakeholders with the best available evidence for strategy development consideration; 
  2. support development of social and economic mobility draft plan for City of Memphis and Shelby County Government’s consideration;
  3. support facilitation of work group meetings and strategy development; and
  4. work with focus area lead organizations to create and maintain feedback loops with community members, partnership, and elected and appointed officials.    

This role will serve as an analyst, advisor, and facilitator for partners in their assigned policy content area. Further, this individual will be a liaison for external stakeholders, including the content-specific work groups, mayors’ and governor’s offices, legislators, state and federal agencies, advisory groups, non-governmental agencies, and other public interest groups.  

Lastly, this role will involve representing the organization before legislative bodies, administrative executives and agency staff in state, local, and federal government.  

Essential Functions


  • Conduct policy analysis on challenges related to poverty and social mobility. 
  • Collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data
  • Support work groups to identify challenges and solutions for incorporation into the strategic plan. 
  • Support work groups to understand considerations of governance, including budget, cost, implementation schedule, and scalability of programs. 
  • Draft policy briefs for work groups and presentations that distill complex information for the work group. 
  • Support work groups with translating policy proposals into the strategic plan.  
  • Incorporate feedback from community and key stakeholders in policy proposals and the strategic plan. 
  • Assist partnership in weighing options and tradeoff cost of policy alternatives. 
  • Collaborate with other social policy consultants, Seeding Success Public Policy team, and technical assistant teams.  


  • Support content-specific work group meeting operations (design, facilitation, and follow-up). 
  • Support development of workgroup action plan(s).  
  • Support partners’ understanding of key issues and data around focus area(s) and desired outcome(s). 
  • Provide capability and capacity-building support for the work group related to policy development.  
  • Participate in project management team meetings. 


  • Demonstrated understanding of public policy issues and context that support thriving music, arts, and culture environments.
  • Demonstrated experience managing and collaborating with a high-performing team. Experience supporting staff with varied experience and skills in a multi tiered structure to include professional development and mentorship. 
  • Understand local and state government budgeting processes to accurately government program performance. 
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and compile complex data for planning purposes.  
  • Possess excellent communication skills, both written and oral, to a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies. 
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships, find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders. 
  • Demonstrated awareness of community dynamics and issues. 
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcomes-driven political and non-profit environment. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


Strongly preferred: Candidates should possess a graduate degree in public policy, business, economics, art business or management, and at least 5 years of relevant experience, including policy and legislative development or managing publicly sponsored non-profit art, music, or cultural programs.  

Minimum requirements: candidates may hold a bachelor’s degree in public policy, business, and art business or management. Candidates should possess at least 5-7 years of relevant experience, including policy and legislative development or managing publicly sponsored non-profit art, music, or cultural programs


12-month position 

Salary: $70K with benefits, including medical, dental and vision plan. 


This position is place-based. Cultural Strategist will need to live in the Memphis, TN region, by January 3, 2022. CDC guidance permitting, this position will require in person meetings. 

To apply, please submit, using “Cultural Strategist” in the subject line, the following to  

1. Résumé 

2. Cover letter

Job Description 

Job Title: Cultural Strategist 

Reports to: Seeding Success - Chief Policy Officer                       Date: 9/10/21 


Blue Meridian Partners is a pioneering philanthropic model for finding and funding scalable solutions to problems that…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Job Type
  • Start Date
    November 1, 2021
  • Application Deadline
    September 27, 2021
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required


USD 70,000 - USD 70,000


Dental, vision and health benefits included.

Dental, vision and health benefits included.


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Memphis, TN
Associated Location
Memphis, TN, USA

How to Apply

To apply, please email, with “Cultural Strategist” in the subject line, and attach the following documents:

1. Résumé

2. Cover letter

To apply, please email, with “Cultural Strategist” in the subject line, and attach the following documents:

1. Résumé

2. Cover letter

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