Poverty & Race Research Action Council — Communications and Partnerships Manager

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Poverty & Race Research Action Council Published: December 2, 2016
Job Type


The Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) seeks a talented and innovative Communications and Partnerships Manager.  PRRAC is a civil rights policy organization convened by major civil rights, civil liberties, and anti-poverty groups. PRRAC's primary mission is to help connect advocates with social scientists working on race and poverty issues, and to promote a research-based advocacy strategy on structural inequality issues. PRRAC sponsors social science research, provides technical assistance, and convenes advocates and researchers around particular race and poverty issues. PRRAC also supports public education efforts, including the bimonthly newsletter/journal Poverty & Race, and the award-winning civil rights history curriculum guide, Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching (co-published with Teaching for Change)


The Communications and Partnerships Manager will provide vision and leadership in developing and implementing the strategies, messages, and materials to promote PRRAC as a valuable systemic change agent and a leading expert on issues related to housing and school integration policy, transportation equity, and environmental justice. S/he will be responsible for a wide range of long-term and day-to-day media strategy, narrative change, and outreach. S/he will develop and employ strategies and tactics that advance PRRAC’s policy agenda, including catalyzing and leading strategic partnerships and collaborative campaigns with a range of organizational partners and local, state, and federal policymakers and leaders.


This is a new position. We are looking for someone who is eager to grow our team’s communications capacity. We are especially interested in candidates who are passionate about our issue areas and who come with a strong, creative movement-building orientation, and candidates who have organizational leadership and teambuilding experience.


This position is based in Washington, DC and reports to the Executive Director. The Communications and Partnerships Manager will work closely with the Executive Director, board, small staff, organizational partners, and coalitions.


Responsibilities include:


  • Assist the Executive Director and program staff in the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications plan and messaging that promotes PRRAC and its work across various media outlets including television, radio, print, and the entire online realm (websites, blogs, and social media, etc.);
  • Think strategically about PRRAC’s role in partnership with other civil rights organizations and how to promote our coalition work in a more coordinated and compelling fashion;
  • Work across teams to manage rapid response and strategic communications during key advocacy moments and work collaboratively on long-term communications plans to strengthen our advocacy and coalition work;
  • Develop and update, as needed, plans for informing a wide range of stakeholders and audiences, including national, state, and local media; funders; government officials; activists; advocates; scholars; and the general public;
  • Provide messaging, media relations, outreach, and support for PRRAC’s programs, publication releases, events, and other projects;
  • Respond to press inquiries; cultivate and maintain relationships with key media contacts covering PRRAC’s issue areas, including broadcast and cable television producers;
  • Monitor media landscape, news cycle, and editorial calendars to identify opportunities for promoting PRRAC and its network’s experts, research, and materials;
  • Lead in drafting, editing, placing, and dissemination of press releases, media advisories, and public statements;
  • Draft and/or support staff in drafting and placing articles, opinion pieces, presentations, blog posts, and multimedia materials that highlight PRRAC’s work;
  • Organize and conduct regular communications meetings with staff; design and conduct communications training sessions for PRRAC’s staff and its network in order to expand our field of experts and effective spokespeople;
  • Plan conferences and media events, arrange speeches for targeted audiences, and identify opportunities to raise the organization’s profile;
  • Ensure PRRAC-managed websites, newsletters, and social media accounts are a dynamic source of information that explains our work in an effective and compelling way (including prrac.org, school-diversity.org, sheffmovement.org, and housingmobility.org);
  • Manage and/or support the design, production, publication, and dissemination of print and online materials, including annual reports, newsletters, other institutional publications;
  • Develop, manage, and grow media and publication distribution lists;
  • Track communication priorities and accomplishments and measure the effectiveness of communications efforts;
  • Document PRRAC’s technical assistance work in selected communities, using narrative and multimedia approaches; and
  • Work with other senior staff to develop fundraising proposals.


Qualifications include:


  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Compelling public speaker. You are enthusiastic about, and have experience, representing organizations in a variety of forums (e.g. delivering legislative testimony, interacting with the media, presenting at public events, etc.) and can reach a variety of PRRAC’s target audiences effectively.
  • Detail-oriented and efficient, with high standards for work products. You set ambitious goals, and bring rigor and resourcefulness to your work and management. You are skilled at measuring and articulating progress over time.
  • Experience with and commitment to working in partnership with low income communities of color.
  • Ability and desire to manage workflow across teams. You possess strong time management, organizational, and prioritization skills. You are motivated to develop and maintain organizational systems and infrastructure. You recognize, anticipate, and proactively respond to organizational needs.
  • Systems thinker with a demonstrated commitment to racial justice. You possess the habits of an effective systems thinker, e.g. flexibility; appreciation of new, emerging insights; consideration of multiple perspectives. You are skilled at making meaningful connections between different issues and constituencies. You have a demonstrated ability to quickly gain fluency in new policy areas. Your commitment to racial justice is apparent.
  • Strong interest in, and understanding of, the changing media landscape. You are motivated to employ social media and digital strategies to inspire engagement and action. You are proficient with website content development and management. You are committed to passing your knowledge on to our team.
  • Relationship management and team development. You have demonstrated success in supporting professional growth and are skilled at providing regular, developmental feedback to staff along the career continuum. You help foster a working atmosphere where fun, laughter, and camaraderie strengthen our organization and its work.
  • Facilitation, training, and movement-building experience. You are a skilled facilitator who can build and move a diverse group through a process; help people bridge differences and recognize common interests; and bring critical partners to the table. You inspire action, and persevere despite challenges and setbacks. You have trained organizers and advocates on policy issues and communications practices. You can demonstrate an ability to engage, identify, and develop effective leaders and spokespeople; you’ve built, led, and supported diverse coalitions that have collectively effected meaningful change.
  • Well-networked, with meaningful cross-movement connections.  You have built a strong set of relationships with relevant national, state, and local policy, advocacy, and organizing groups and networks in the racial or social justice movement.
  • Issue fluency in our core issues. You can demonstrate a commitment to, and possess experience and expertise with, PRRAC’s core issues (housing and school integration policy, transportation equity, and environmental justice).
  • Desire to use arts to advance social justice. You are excited to engage audiences, raise empathy and awareness, and inspire action through film, photography, performance, storytelling, and digital strategy. You have built a strong set of relationships with individuals and organizations sharing this approach and orientation.


Salary and Benefits: The salary for this position is competitive, with a range that is commensurate with experience. We offer a generous benefits package, including individual health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and a 403(b) plan.


How to Apply: Send a resume, writing sample, and cover letter that demonstrate how your experience and skill set meet the qualifications for this role to Sherry Ettleson at settleson@gmail.com, subject line: “PRRAC Communications and Partnerships Manager.” Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls please.


PRRAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer—people of color, bilingual candidates, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing support and development opportunities.



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