About FaithActs for Education
We are people of faith building power to get our children the education they deserve. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to graduate from college, take care of their family, and fulfill their God-given potential. We build relationships, we build leaders, and we build power through community organizing and civic engagement.
To date, FaithActs members have:
- Secured millions of dollars in additional local and state funding for Bridgeport education
- Gained state approval and funding for new schools of choice
- Prevented busing cuts for more than 2,300 elementary school students
- Strengthened the Bridgeport Board of Education’s governing practices
- Turned out more than 1,100 voters in Bridgeport’s 2019 elections
And we’re growing! As we expand our work into new communities, FaithActs is positioned to effect policy change across the state.
You can learn more about our work in the video links below:
How does this role fit into FaithActs’ broader strategy?
Your work as a Community Organizer will enable us to:
- Build relationships, develop leaders, and build power to make substantive educational policy change
- Secure a major policy win by bringing members through the organizing cycle of relationships, research, action, and reflection
- Demonstrate demand for equitable education funding to local and state decision makers
What will my objectives be as a Community Organizer?
- Build trust, understanding, and reciprocal relationships through at least 15 one-on-one meetings with current and potential members each week
- Understand the personal self-interest of members and what motivates them to work collectively to make change
- Attend church services and events to schedule one-on-ones, lead trainings, and secure voter commitments from congregation members at their places of worship
- Engage community leaders, business leaders, and partner organizations on key initiatives as needed
- Meticulously track data and report on FaithActs organizing activities, meetings, and interactions through our CRM system
- Develop leadership in members by coaching them to lead in organizing cycles and other organizational efforts, such as through research meetings with decision makers, conducting power analyses of targets, writing and delivering testimony to highlight issues of concern, speaking at events, and playing other roles in major actions
- Get members to lead their own one-on-ones in order to increase community engagement and to turn out followers to events
- Create a culture of feedback among members and leaders every time leadership actions are taken in order to create environments where FaithActs can build power and make change
- Plan and execute member meetings to educate, train, and strengthen connections between members
- Facilitate leader reflection by organizing debriefs following each research, action or relationship building meeting
- Attend Board of Education and City Council meetings with members in order to develop members as leaders in these efforts; to gather intelligence; and to pin decision makers to commit to research meetings or other interim steps as part of broader campaign efforts
- Lead campaigns that move actions on issues that are deeply felt, widely held, and winnable
- Plan and execute targeted public actions of various time spans, such as rallies, demand meetings, demonstrations, and letter-writing campaigns, where target is present and where clear demand is made
- Plan and execute at least 1 research meeting each month for members to make demands of education decision makers; prepare members individually and collectively for these meetings, including power analyses, identifying wins, practicing roles in advance, etc., ensuring that every member understands their role and is prepared to hold their power and get what they need from decision maker
- Set strategy for member meetings and facilitate prep for participating members, taking into account what they need to know / share / practice / prepare in order to set them up for success in the current issue campaign; lean heavily on members to lead meetings in full or at least in part in order to foster their leadership development
- Consistently deliver on member turnout goals for FaithActs meetings and public actions (e.g., 2 people to a Board of Education meeting, 20 people to a public hearing, or 500 people to a public action)
- Provide strategic input to executive leadership on organizing goals and activities
What are the greatest opportunities I’ll have in this specific role?
- As a FaithActs Community Organizer, you’ll develop relationships to build power and make important change, and be able to learn and practice the discipline of true community organizing. You’ll have the opportunity to help people build their power collectively and develop grassroots leadership to make great change, while facilitating the leadership development of our individual members, so they can drive change themselves more effectively through their engagement with us.
- You’ll be part of a nationally recognized organization generating great interest from funders and practitioners in the field and will have access to national networks and national experts. We have a proven record of wins and are creating real change for children through our unique approach in working with predominantly faith-based communities.
You’ll work with a diverse and capable team both internally and externally, working closely with the executive team to set strategy and create campaigns and alongside pastors, community leaders, and elected officials to execute those campaigns.
Should I apply to this role?
We would love to hear from you if the below description sounds like you:
- Commitment to FaithActs mission, belief in the power of people and communities to come together to effect change, and belief in the ability of all children to learn, grow, and achieve
- Ability to identify specific demands that, if won, will change members’ lives and provide opportunities for children to get a great education; understanding of how systems work, and how power works
- Ability to assess leadership potential and create intentional opportunities for growth among FaithActs members; orientation towards working behind the scenes and amplifying the work of community members rather than leading conspicuously from the front
- Comfort with using agitation to push people effectively toward action even when that approach elicits displeasure on the part of others -- e.g., compelling community members to share powerful personal stories in public settings
- Ability to develop and facilitate effective trainings and other types of presentations for groups of up to 100 people
- Mature interpersonal skills and ability to communicate messages such that they can be repeated and passed along verbally; ability to build trusting relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives
- Strong sense of personal responsibility for achieving measurable results; proactive orientation founded on belief that personal action can in fact change the status quo
- Comfort operating in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment that requires regular adaptation and evolution
- Ability to learn and grow from mistakes and embrace of that learning process, desire to constantly improve, and willingness to participate in and contribute to real-time feedback culture
- Strong organizational skills and ability to balance multiple priorities while hitting targets consistently and executing with high standard of excellence; ability to ask for help when needed to achieve goals
- Ability to serve as project lead both internally and externally with FaithActs members, delegating effectively and providing all key stakeholders with the appropriate level of context and keeping them updated as needed
- Ability to work flexible hours, including weeknights and weekends
- Access to independent transportation
In addition to the requirements outlined above, below are some qualifications that are preferred, but not required:
- Experience with grassroots community organizing (i.e., leading community members through issue campaigns in which public demands are made of decision makers)
- Experience with civic engagement activities, such as voter engagement or demonstration / protest work
- Experience working with the faith community / faith-based organizations (e.g., social justice ministry work experience in church setting)
- Experience or deep familiarity with Connecticut public education
- Familiarity with Google Apps, Apple computers, and mobile technology
- Experience with community organizing organizations such as PICO / Faith in Action, IAF, Gamaliel, Innovate or similar groups
Below are some additional details you may be wondering about.
Whom will I report to?
You will report to our Chief of Staff
Where is this job located?
Our office is in Bridgeport but your work will be focused in New Haven, or Hartford.
What is the start date?
What is the salary range and benefits package?
The salary range is $50,000-60,000, depending on experience, and we offer a full and competitive benefits package including work from home stipends, monthly cell phone reimbursement (up to $100), medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance, 401(k) retirement account with an employer match, and a generous time-off policy.
What will my typical office hours be?
You’ll have a flexible schedule (caveat that it will include nights and weekends)
What does the application and selection process look like?
We will review your application and will only reach out to qualified candidates for an initial phone screen. The next stages in the process are as follows:
- Stage One: Full phone interview with hiring manager
- Stage Two: Candidate Exercise
- Stage Three: Interview with the full team
- Stage Four: Reference checks
We expect the full process to take anywhere from two to three weeks depending on candidate and team availability.
What Our Members Say
FaithActs was instrumental in helping me and my family in positive strategies. Through FaithActs I was able to help my sister who is a single mother become a visual, vocal and engaged parent with the school system when my nieces were dealing with bullying and suspensions from school transportation. FaithActs has educated me on being an advocate who respects the target individuals in my community who represent education, children and the community. They taught me how to be better involved within my community as well. I joined FaithActs because the group is using diverse people who strive for the same goals, prayer, unity, strength, and encouragement with leadership becoming the main goal on behalf of our community, they are becoming the voice for children and families around education.
Tiffani Acosta -- FaithActs member, Bridgeport resident
I previously had a voice in the community. I started out as PAC President at ABCD Learning. I was a parent who was involved in my child's education. However, I was unfairly accused of doing things the wrong way and was stripped of my duties. The accusations were false, they took my voice away, I became discouraged and stopped fighting for my child's education. I had lost all hope and will to advocate until I met Keyla Medina through FaithActs for Education. We did a one on one and I decided to come to a meeting. As time progressed and through thorough training through FaithActs I slowly began to address issues, gain my voice and gain my will to advocate. I am a powerhouse, I will stand up for my child and all the children of Bridgeport, my voice will be heard. I am happy to say that because of FaithActs I am back in my community speaking up for children's rights and their education. I thank FaithActs for giving me back my voice.
Ondrea Moore -- FaithActs member, New Vision International Ministries, Bridgeport resident