ICIRR - Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Lead Organizer

Based in Chicago, IL

Reports To: Senior Director of Organizing

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) statewide non-profit coalition that advocates for the rights of immigrants and refugees. ICIRR engages in public policy advocacy, community organizing, service coordination, training and technical assistance, public education and outreach and leadership development for immigrants and refugees in Illinois and on a national level.

ICIRR provides our members with organizing and advocacy strategy, training and technical assistance on issues that affect their respective immigrant constituents, and up-to-date information and policy analysis on immigrant- and refugee-related issues. ICIRR ensures the effectiveness of our member organizations by providing ongoing leadership development opportunities, promoting citizenship and civic participation, monitoring and analyzing immigrant-related laws and policies, forming cross ethnic alliances, and informing the general public about the positive contributions of newcomers to Illinois and the U.S. ICIRR is a justice organization serving vulnerable immigrant communities; excellence in pursuit of ICIRR's overall mission is expected of all employees.

The primary role of the Lead Organizer is to help drive and support multiple campaigns, with a primary focus on our health care organizing campaign, build and maintain relationships with ICIRR member organizations and leaders, engage ICIRR members within our organizing campaigns, help lead organizational wide events and trainings and provide guidance and support to the organizing team. This staff member is an integral part of the Organizing department, and as such reports to the Senior Director of Organizing and collaborates on a day-to-day basis with the organizing team.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with the Health Policy Director and the Senior Director of Organizing to manage the Healthy Communities Cook County coalition and ICIRR’s Health Care advocacy portfolio to move the work to the next level
  • Provide support to the citywide campaign tables that ICIRR is a part of
  • Engage within a range of issue areas addressed by ICIRR and work closely with ICIRR’s policy department as it relates to ICIRR’s organizing campaign work that may need additional staff support (i.e. citywide efforts, etc.)
  • Build relationships to engage ICIRR’s membership within the organization’s organizing campaigns and events and insure that grassroots leaders are front and center in the campaigns decision making
  • Provide and analysis of the department’s strengths and growth opportunities and take a lead role in facilitating reflection and planning around the department’s retreats
  • Guide ICIRR members through a political analysis that informs strategy through ICIRR’s campaigns
  • Support and when necessary take lead on organization-wide events and activities including direct actions, press conferences, rallies, leadership summits, and other events as needed
  • Establish, build relationships, recruit new allies and organizations into the various ICIRR campaigns
  • Build support of elected officials for various local, statewide and national campaigns
  • Help identify, recruit, and develop ICIRR member organizations to advance the goals of ICIRR’s organizing campaigns
  • Develop relationships with organizing partners and explore collaborative opportunities with strategic allies not yet involved with ICIRR
  • Stay abreast of immigrant related policies and how they affect the immigrant community.
  • Maintain working knowledge of entire range of issue areas addressed by ICIRR
  • Develop strategic, member centered and member driven campaigns
  • Provides informal guidance, feedback and support to other organizers about their work
  • Participate in ICIRR all staff meetings

Training and Capacity Building

  • Organize and conduct trainings for members and new allies on related policy and organizing skills
  • Help conduct organizing trainings to grassroots leaders from ICIRR member organizations as part of ICIRR’s emerging organizing training curriculum
  • Be a key player within ICIRR’s organizing team to help shape strategy and long-term planning


  • Self-motivated, results-oriented, teamwork centered and comfortable in a fast-paced environment
  • Four years of experience working in community organizing with some formal training preferred
  • Demonstrated success in managing campaigns
  • Comfortable with basic Microsoft Programs including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Experience working with immigrants and/or refugees preferred
  • Bilingual language capacity strongly preferred, especially Spanish
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • Excellent interpersonal and writing skills; experience and comfort in public speaking
  • Excellent leadership abilities and superior organizational skills; detail-oriented with the ability to juggle many different tasks simultaneously and complete them in a timely manner
  • A car and valid driver’s license are required. Because the organizer must be available when our leaders are, evening and weekend work is a part of this job.

Salary: Commensurate with experience and qualifications, plus generous benefits

ICIRR is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

This position is part of the National Organization of Legal Service Workers.

To Apply: Send cover letter with your résumé to: jobs@icirr.org. No phone calls, please.

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