Los Angeles Black Worker Center

Los Angeles Black Worker Center

Co-Executive Director of Organizing and Programs

Based in Los Angeles, CA

Co-Executive Director of Organizing and Programs
Reports To:
Board of Directors
Location: Los Angeles, California
Closing Date: January 4, 2019

The Los Angeles Black Worker Center seeks an inspiring and visionary leader with strong coalition-building skills to join, nourish, and uplift a dynamic table of workers, organized labor, community-based organizations, clergy, students, and scholars working collectively to improve the position of the Black working class. This is an opportunity to help build and galvanize a powerful, community-focused, member-driven team as part of a leading voice and force for Black workers and communities in Los Angeles.

The Center
The Los Angeles Black Worker Center’s (LABWC’s) mission is to increase access to quality jobs, reduce employment discrimination, and improve industries that employ Black workers through action and unionization. LABWC develops organized power and authentic grassroots leadership among Black workers (unionized, non-union, immigrant, formerly incarcerated and the unemployed) and among the extended community, to reverse the disproportionate levels of unemployment and underemployment in the Los Angeles Black community. LABWC focuses on explicitly organizing Black workers to address root-causes and systems change through leadership development, base-building, and advocacy in support of comprehensive campaigns toward reversing the Black job crisis. The Center’s vision is to build a world where Black workers thrive in an equitable economy that sustains vibrant families and communities.

Initially incubated as a project at the UCLA Labor Center in 2009, the LABWC opened its doors in 2011 at the Paul Robeson Center in South Los Angeles. From those humble beginnings, LABWC grew exponentially engaging over 3,000 supporters and organizing some 800 members and leaders through workshops, canvassing and advocacy efforts. Next year marks ten years of LABWC seeking peace and prosperity for all of Los Angeles by developing policies and corporate practices that perpetuate equity in the labor market and end inferior jobs in the Black Community.

Under the leadership of Co-Founder and Director Lola Smallwood Cuevas, with strong support from the Board of Directors and funders as well as hard work and dedication from members, LABWC has made notable contributions to the fight for equity for Black workers in Los Angeles including:

  • In 2012, LABWC played a leading role in the negotiations of an agreement with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority to designate 40 percent of its construction work hours for the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Train for under-utilized, skilled Black workers.
  • In 2016, as a steering committee member of the Raise the Wage campaign, LABWC used its power to organize better construction opportunities for Black workers into winning the nation’s largest minimum wage ordinance.
  • Currently the center is focused on transforming the way employment discrimination is handled in the state by expanding local enforcement protections at the neighborhood level.

In this era of activism and optimism, a new sense of power of the people challenges all of us to address the state of racial and economic justice with innovative tools and fresh ideas. In this next phase of growth and impact, LABWC will model the continual development of Black community-based leadership identifying new energy to pick up the baton of resistance and change for Black workers. This is an exciting time for new leadership to join the Board, staff and members in continuing their fight for justice. For more information on LABWC, visit www.lablackworkercenter.org.

The Position
In its next evolution, LABWC will continue to focus on the defense and protection of Black workers so that they, along with the families and communities that rely on them, thrive. LABWC seeks a bold, proven, advocate and leader as Co-Executive Director of Organizing and Programs to help take our movement to the next level. The Co-Executive Director of Organizing and Programs reports to and is evaluated by the Board of Directors; supervises the Senior Lead Organizer and Programmatic Consultants; and has leadership responsibilities related to grassroots fundraising and fund development, membership growth and leadership development as well as strategic partnerships and alliances with unions, community-based organizations, and university partners. The position will have shared leadership responsibilities with the Co-Executive Director of Operations and Finance to advance the vision of the LABWC by ensuring the overall success and effectiveness of the organization.

Responsibilities of the Co-Executive Director of Organizing and Programs
Visionary, Strategic and Creative Leadership:

  • Demonstrates thoughtful leadership that ensures LABWC engages in strategies that are aligned with the vision and mission of the organization and rooted in the spirit of Black collective action, self-determination and shared analysis
  • Manages a diversity of programming and organization-wide political development so that both are deeply entrenched in the common cause of a progressive Black worker rights agenda
  • With the Board Chair and Co-Director, leads the strategic planning process and is responsible for the implementation of an interlocking set of strategies that include base-building, organizing, policy work, legal services, strategic partnerships and alliances and other programs

Program and Campaign Design and Management:

  • Aligns the organization’s comprehensive campaigns, service programs and the fundraising required to support both, with the vision and mission of the organization toward public policy and corporate practice change
  • Ensures proper planning, staffing, oversight and strategy of the campaigns and programs
  • Monitors implementation of new laws and regulations as well as changes in the field making recommendations and adjustments to organizational strategy
  • Administers program operations including reviewing and evaluating the results of program activities and deliverables, ensuring contractual obligations are fulfilled, and allocating resources for greater program effectiveness and efficiency
  • Oversees comprehensive campaigns and organizing including outreach, recruitment, assessments, and leadership development programs


  • With the support of the Board and Co-Executive Director of Operations and Finance, ensures that LABWC maintains a sufficient, diverse, and sustainable funding base to advance the vision and goals of the organization and support living wages for staff including individual donors, major donors, grassroots fundraising, foundation grants, corporate grants, government grants, special events, and earned income
  • Identifies, cultivates, solicits, maintains funder relationships and ensures compliance with funders, donors, and fund development consultants

Effective Base-Building and Meeting Facilitation:

  • Oversees organizing and membership function, ensuring strong organizational and membership growth by demonstrating a clear understanding of organizing fundamentals and principles that are necessary for developing strategic plans for effective base building and leadership development
  • Builds the skills and confidence of lead organizers to understand the LABWC’s theory of change and organizing methodology
  • Implements thoughtful planning of meeting processes and outcomes including facilitation of senior staff meetings that provide clarity of purpose, accountability and productivity
  • Oversees the relationships and recruitment of students and allied volunteers

Staff Management and Development:

  • With the Co-Executive Director of Operations and Finance, recruits, retains and motivates a diverse and talented staff with a commitment to Black communities, racial, , economic and social justice
  • Ensures staff receives the training, support, supervision, evaluation and leadership development that they need to succeed
  • Maintains and advances an organizational culture that supports work-life balance and fosters positive staff relations
  • Invests in the development of leadership for LABWC overall

Organizational Partnerships/Relationship Development and Management:

  • Develops deep alliances with Black community-based organizations and the labor sector
  • Proactively develops and maintains local, statewide and national relationships with strategic allies and coalitional partnerships including , decision-makers, and systems-navigators across diverse interests, needs and outcomes toward meaningful solidarity and strategic alliances that center on Black worker liberation and economic freedom for working class communities of color

Administration and Operations:

  • Supports the Co-Executive Director of Operations and Finance to ensure effective administration and operation of the organization, including legal, financial, fiscal sponsorship compliance, management and human resources

Board Support:

  • With the Co-Executive Director of Operations and Finance, communicates regularly with the Board to keep the Board informed of the status of the programs and operations of the organization
  • Works with the Board and Co-Executive Director of Operations and Finance on strategic planning, fund development, the annual budget, annual work plans and evaluations
  • Supports and motivates the Board of Directors in fulfilling its legal duties and responsibilities to the organization and in Board Development

Ambassadorship, Communications and Marketing:

  • Serves as LABWC’s primary spokesperson who shares organizational point of view with the organization’s constituents, media allies, partners, public officials and the general public to promote activities and programs
  • Proactively positions LABWC and advances its reputation and message in the community
  • Enhances LABWC’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other power-building organizations and civic organizations locally, statewide and nationally
  • Oversees narrative development, marketing and other communication efforts including the creation and distribution of materials for LABWC such as e-blasts to stakeholders, members and funders
  • Supervises communications work, staff and consultants

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

  • Proven progressive leader grounded in Black community organizing and actively engaged in the struggle for advancing the rights of working Black people
  • Experience in and passion for building Black institutions and advocating for Black people
  • Knowledge and understanding of Black communities and the political landscape in Los Angeles
  • At least 3 to 5 years of organizational development/management experience in a nonprofit organization, preferably a social justice organization, including developing and supervising a 5+ member staff
  • At least 5 years of base-building and organizing experience, preferably with members and/or workers, developing and implementing comprehensive direct action campaigns that interlock strategic organizing, research and communications toward outcomes that lead to change in public policy and corporate practices
  • At least 3 to 5 years of fundraising in the nonprofit sector
  • BA degree preferred and an advanced degree (MA, MBA, PhD, JD, etc.) is a plus
  • Experience working within and with labor and social and economic justice movements
  • Strategic and creative thinker able to navigate the legislative and bureaucratic system
  • Knowledgeable of and experienced in policy change and development at the local, state and/or federal level
  • Understanding of the principles of popular education and the ability to design and facilitate workshops and training utilizing popular education approaches
  • Excellent communicator and listener skilled at building and maintaining relationships with staff, members, funders, partners, allies, elected officials and other decision makers
  • Team-oriented and collaborative people manager willing to invest in the LABWC by developing leaders
  • Dedicated, hard-working and adept at executing multiple high-priority projects with overlapping deadlines
  • Models honesty, transparency, accountability and self-care
  • Fundraising experience including grant writing; cultivating and managing funder relationships; grassroots fundraising; individual donor and major donor campaigns; foundation and corporate foundation grants; government contracts or grants; and earned income strategies highly desired
  • Ability to travel out of state up to approximately 40% of the time and flexibility to work long and irregular hours, as needed

Compensation and Benefits

  • Salary Range: $75,000-$80,000, commensurate with experience
  • Benefits: Health Insurance, Dental Insurance and a Retirement Plan

The Application Process
To apply, email a cover letter, résumé and list of three references (candidates will be notified in advance of any outreach to your references) to LABWC@walkeraac.com on or before 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 4, 2019. Use the subject line: Co-Executive Director of Organizing and Programs. Submit Microsoft Word or PDF files only (one combined PDF file is preferred). Résumé review begins immediately.

Questions? Contact Jeannine Walker, Walker and Associates Consulting, at jwalker@walkeraac.com.

Los Angeles Black Worker Center, a project of Community Partners®, is an equal opportunity employer with a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, the organization will consider for employment-qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring. People of color, working class people, differently-abled people, formerly incarcerated people and LGBTQ people are strongly encouraged to apply.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.