Community Organizer - Houston

Houston, Texas, United States | Advocacy | Full-time

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Community Organizer, Houston

RAICES is currently seeking a Community Organizer.  The Community Organizer will build the grassroots community base of RAICES by engaging immigrants and allies in conversations at their worksites, places of worship, educational institutions and any other Immigrant friendly spaces. This position reports to the Texas Statewide Organizer and will be based in Houston, TX.  

The Organizer will be required to actively collaborate with other RAICES departments and staff members for several tasks, projects, campaigns and other objectives, including but not limited to accompaniments, deportation defense events, programming, and volunteer events, if necessary. The Organizer will collaborate with other organizations in the area to establish inclusivity, and to build better relationships among our allies, friends, and those who don’t necessarily agree with us, that we must work with at some point to achieve our goals. Coalition building and working well with others is a necessity, all while motivating the community, staff, allies, and volunteers to execute and achieve RAICES’ missions and goals. In addition, the Organizer will engage in limited lobbying activities with local policymakers and law enforcement agencies to implement pro-immigrant policies in our community.

RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost immigration legal services and education to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas. We actively advocate for these individuals and do whatever it takes to assist the immigrant community. With legal services, social programs, bond assistance, and an advocacy team focused on changing the narrative around immigration in this country, RAICES is operating on the national frontlines of the fight for immigration rights.

Responsibilities:

  • Conduct community outreach at various community institutions, places of worship, and in neighborhoods;
  • Recruit new contacts to become leaders with RAICES and engage them in RAICES activities;
  • Conduct one-on-one follow-ups with contacts and inspire them to take action with RAICES;
  • Put together monthly gatherings with RAICES clients, other impacted community and allies;
  • Develop RAICES’ public profile and enhance its presence in the community;
  • Develop an organizing committee to drive local campaigns and actions to win immigrant-friendly policies;
  • Engage members in developing campaign strategies and advancing policy campaigns to win immigrant-friendly policies at the local (lobbying at the city council level and local law enforcement agencies), state, and national level;
  • Coordinate volunteers in collaboration with RAICES volunteer program to conduct outreach and trainings in the community;
  • Work closely with the Legal and Social Services Department and Advocacy Department to plan direct actions to support clients who have experienced ICE, police, CBP, detention abuses, or other problems with their immigration cases;
  • Develop relationships and build coalitions with key local allies, including faith, labor, and community allies;
  • Provide Know-Your-Rights presentations;
  • Speak on behalf of RAICES to both English and Spanish media, as needed;
  • Travel required to other Texas cities to meet with staff, as needed;
  • Occasional travel out of state to represent RAICES or attend trainings; and
  • Coordinate a team with RAICES’  Legal and Social Services to respond to crisis situations.

Qualifications:

  • Previous experience with organizing a plus;
  • Fluent in English and Spanish (strong written and verbal communication skills in both languages);
  • Fluency in other languages such as Arabic, Tigrinya and French is a plus;
  • Commitment to immigrant rights and building a broader immigrant rights movement;
  • Outgoing, personable and able to engage community members in conversations and to build a strong rapport through brief interactions;
  • Has strong negotiation skills that are needed to be able to advance our agenda with people in power with opposing views;
  • Ability to motivate and inspire others to take action;
  • Must be willing to approach community members and engage them in conversation;
  • Excellent critical thinking and listening skills;
  • Detail-oriented and organized;
  • Ability to work independently and juggle multiple responsibilities;
  • Willing to take the initiative and go beyond minimum requirements of the job;
  • Excellent time management and administrative skills;
  • Ability to work irregular hours, including nights and weekends, when necessary, to be available to RAICES volunteers, clients, and events;
  • Ability to work well with diverse groups of people (including faith, labor, Latinx immigrants, LGBTQ and African American community, among others);
  • Computer proficiency especially with Microsoft Word, Excel,and the Internet;
  • Must own or have access to a reliable, insured vehicle for daily travel around the city; and
  • Previous experience with, or personal connection to the immigration rights defense community is a plus; and,
  • Must be able to prioritize projects in real time and be able to decline events or work with others to reschedule or create optional ways for RAICES to assist.