JOB ANNOUNCEMENT – April 24, 2023
The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) invites applications for a full-time Communications Director to join its team.
The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) is working for equality, dignity, and justice for people impacted by the criminal legal system in the Deep South. SCHR fights for a world free from mass incarceration, the death penalty, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice.
Over our forty-six-year history, SCHR has litigated precedent-setting cases in hostile climates across the South, against all odds. SCHR has forced county and state governments to reduce overcrowding in prisons and jails, provide adequate medical and mental health care, and abate violence and abuse. We have argued and won five death penalty cases at the US Supreme Court, four of which challenged profound race discrimination in capital trials. Our combined litigation and policy advocacy helped bring about the creation of a statewide public defender system in Georgia. For more information about SCHR, visit www.schr.org.
About the Position
The Communications Director is responsible for directing, developing, and overseeing SCHR’s communications strategy to successfully execute dynamic messaging and communications campaigns in furtherance of SCHR’s litigation, advocacy, and policy efforts. The Communications Director is a creative and visionary thinker with a deep understanding of the history of the criminal legal system in the Deep South and an abundant vision for racial justice. This position is responsible for content and messaging generation for diverse audiences, platforms, and stakeholders and continuing to grow SCHR’s leadership and expertise in the field of criminal and racial justice.
We are looking for a strong collaborator who has experience leading messaging and communications strategies, working with media, and expansive communications skills (communications strategy, pitching, social media, project management, etc.). If you are looking for a traditional 9 to 5, take a checklist-style approach to communications, or are anything less than 100% committed to the inherent dignity of our clients and the work involved in carrying that message forward, then we are not a fit for you. People with direct personal or familial experience with the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply.
This position reports to the Deputy Director and supports SCHR’s cases and campaigns in conjunction with legal, advocacy, policy, development, and marketing staff.
- Oversee strategic communications for SCHR’s litigation, advocacy, and policy campaigns.
- Cultivate and sustain SCHR’s relationships and visibility in traditional and alternative media, including social media, with an emphasis on building relationships with journalists, media personalities, and outlets operated by and centering the stories of BIPOC communities.
- Develop materials based on original and secondary research, such as issue or policy briefs and SCHR statements.
- Pitch local and national media on SCHR litigation, advocacy, and policy campaigns.
- Coordinate with and develop the communication skills of SCHR staff, community partners, and stakeholders.
- Develop, execute, and evaluate the effectiveness of SCHR’s “Movement Law School for Journalists” and foster educational opportunities for continued engagement.
- Coordinate responses to all media inquiries, including on-the-record comments, quotes, and media appearances.
- Maintain and regularly update press lists, emphasizing coverage of criminal justice issues.
- Attend unit meetings and read legal filings to stay knowledgeable of litigation, advocacy, and policy campaigns.
- Supervise a full-time Communications Associate.
Qualifications and Experience
You will be successful in this role if:
- You have significant experience working in a communications-related position, preferably for an advocacy or social justice-oriented organization.
- You have significant experience directing communications strategies and narrative shaping with documentable impact.
- You clearly articulate a vision for racial justice and a commitment to anti-racism.
- You have experience working with and a commitment to serving low-income communities, BIPOC communities, and all those targeted by the criminal legal system.
- You can hold and balance both long-term vision and daily tasks.
- You have high attention to detail, can prioritize and delegate projects to meet deadlines, and possess strong interpersonal skills.
- You have impeccable verbal and written skills to articulate complex ideas and issues concisely and persuasively.
- You have experience and/or knowledge of the criminal legal system and its failings.
- You can balance personal and organizational reputation, identity, and brand.
- You are committed to centering the organization’s mission, clients, and values in all communications work.
- You have experience supervising, training, and mentoring staff and managing work across multiple titles and teams.
- You have prior experience working in a law office or legal setting.
Commitment and Compensation
The start date is negotiable, but Summer 2023 is preferred. Salary is commensurate with experience, within SCHR’s modest, public interest pay scale of $70,000 – $80,000. SCHR offers an excellent, 100% premium-paid benefits package, including medical, dental, vision care, and life insurance. Additional benefits include modest stipends for transportation and wellness, access to a flexible spending account, and childcare assistance (if eligible).
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Those who are interested are encouraged to apply immediately. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE. Email [email protected] with the following:
- Statement in the subject line of the e-mail that you are applying for the Communications Director position;
- Letter of interest and resume;
- Writing sample (could be a press release, blog post, or any professional writing that shows your style and voice); and
- Contact information for three references, including one from a person you supervised.
The Southern Center for Human Rights is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer which welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, nationalities, and military status, as well as those who have personal experience with the criminal legal system.