The Safer Foundation is a social service provider to individuals with arrest and conviction records. Through a full range of services, including case management, educational instruction and advocacy, we focus on preparing individuals for the world of work by helping them find and keep productive and meaningful employment.
About Safer Foundation
We are one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit social impact organizations focusing on human capital development for people with arrest and conviction records. We help our clients secure and maintain employment because we understand that employment typically offers the best chance at successful reentry. We also support our clients by providing them housing support through our Community Housing Program, and behavioral health services through the Safer Treatment Center. We create economic and housing opportunities for people with records through our Safer Social Enterprises. We help people transitioning back into the community from incarceration in the two Adult Transition Centers that we operate on behalf of the State of Illinois. We also eliminate barriers and create opportunities for people with records through our policy, advocacy and legislative work. Our partners include many community-based organizations, units of government, employers, housing providers and research institutions.
About the Policy and Advocacy Division The Policy and Advocacy Division advocates for policies and legislation that eliminate barriers and create opportunities for people with arrest and conviction records, with an emphasis on closing the equity gaps that exist for our clients and the population that we serve. Our policy and advocacy work focuses on four issue areas that are critical to reducing recidivism: 1) Economic Mobility and Opportunity, 2) Housing, 3) Healthcare, and 4) Justice System Reform. We work closely with people directly impacted by the justice system, scholars, experts, legislators, agency leaders, prosecutors, judges, advocates, employers, and housing providers to develop, advance and implement policies that reduce recidivism. Often our work translates into published reports; policy briefs; federal, state and local legislation; and model policies and programs.
Job Summary *This is a 12-month grant funded position to be continued based upon further funding.*
Safer Foundation seeks a relentless, inspired and strategic Project Manager whose primary responsibilities will be to organize and provide project management support to an alliance that advocates for people directly impacted by the justice system in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois. The ideal candidate is an experienced community organizer who has led coalitions and grassroots policy and advocacy campaigns. This position will involve organizing and mobilizing an alliance that consists of leaders from organizations advocating for and providing services to people with arrest and conviction records. The alliance will also include policy advocates and organizing leaders who are directly impacted by the justice system. The alliance will work to harness its collective power to drive substantive systems level change and social change. This position will report to the Director of Policy, Advocacy and Legislative Affairs.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities • Building a statewide base of community organizations and people directly impacted by the justice system who will advocate for justice system reform; • Shifting public sentiment about people with arrest and conviction records in Illinois towards the usage of more humanizing and inclusive language; • Maintaining a statewide database of activists, organizations and key contacts dedicated to addressing justice system reform; • Planning, coordinating and facilitating alliance meetings; • Planning, coordinating and facilitating client/volunteer trainings and leadership development opportunities; • Developing and leveraging relationships with high-ranking government officials, researchers, advocates, people directly impacted by the justice system and other experts; • Communicating directly with high-ranking government officials, researchers, advocates, people directly impacted by the justice system and other experts; • Identifying, measuring and tracking the growth of the alliance for reporting purposes; • Writing and developing high-quality policy briefs, memos, fact sheets and presentations that concisely and clearly describe complex analyses and policy options to policymakers; • Collaborating with the Community Organizer and the Program team to share information about Safer Foundation’s policy advocacy work with staff and clients and to recruit volunteer advocates. • Synthesizing and persuasively communicating ideas to influence multiple audiences; • Working with the Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Legislative Affairs to provide administrative support in the management of office operations, • Supervising policy interns and temporary staff where appropriate; • Other duties as assigned.
Skills and Abilities • High quality written and verbal presentation skills; • Strong project management skills; • Exhibit creativity, intellectual curiosity and agility, and the ability to distill complicated concepts into clear materials for multiple audiences; • Exhibit the ability to think analytically and strategically; • Ability to organize and develop volunteer advocates; • Abilities to diplomatically and effectively cultivate relationships and exchange information with internal colleagues and outside stakeholders; • Ability to lead and work on coalition-based campaigns to affect local and statewide policy change; • Ability to plan, coordinate and facilitate multi-stakeholder meetings; • Abilities to work collaboratively on teams and independently; • Abilities to set priorities, manage tasks and deadlines for multiple detail-oriented projects; • Perform basic data management and analysis; • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and social media tools; • Willingness to travel for work; • Willingness to plan and facilitate up to two ninety-minute evening meetings per month with volunteer advocates.
Education and Experience • At least 3 years of community organizing experience; • Deep knowledge and a personal commitment to social and economic justice, racial equity and justice system reform; • Possess academic and professional knowledge in a discipline that is associated with a college degree in social policy, public policy, political science, public administration, law (or pre-law), public health, or a related discipline; • Experience conducting policy and legislative research; • Experience working in teams; • Experience speaking in public and delivering presentations; • People directly impacted by the justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.
Application Process To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, one writing sample, and professional references.
Safer Foundation is a national leader in prisoner re-entry and employment programs. A nonprofit organization based in Chicago, Safer was founded more than 45 years to help people leaving prison find jobs so they could successfully transition back into their communities. But people with criminal records faced a stigma that made securing employment difficult.The situation is even more dire today, especially in the United States. Despite accounting for only 5 percent of the world population, the U.S. leads the world with its incarceration rate. And an overwhelming majority of individuals returning from prison face more complex challenges to getting and keeping a job. This means the services Safer Foundation provides are even more important. In fact, we know, and an abundance of research has shown, that the most difficult barrier—and the single-most crucial factor—to successful reintegration is a job. When our clients find jobs, they become valuable contributors to their families and their communities, while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.Re-entry is now recognized as an important issue that has captured our nation's attention and support, and Safer Foundation is proud to be a leader in the discussion and advocacy efforts occurring on the local, state and national levels.