United We Dream (UWD) is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. We create welcoming spaces for young people – regardless of immigration status – to support, engage, and empower them to make their voices heard and win!
With an online reach of over 4 million, more than 400,000 members as well as 5 statewide branches and over 100 local groups across 28 states. UWD is made up of fearless youth fighting to improve the lives of our members and their families. Our vision is a society which celebrates our diversity and believes in a multi-ethnic, intersectional path to getting there. Over 60% of our members are womxn and 20% identify as LGBTQ.
Whether we’re organizing in the streets, building innovative technology systems, opening doors for LGBTQ immigrant youth, clearing pathways to education, stopping deportations or creating alliances across social movements, United We Dream puts undocumented immigrant youth in the driver’s seat. UWD is a fast paced, dynamic organization which has become a leading voice in social change and has appeared in every major news outlet in the country.
We are driven by the priorities and needs of our members; have trained thousands of individuals; and have supported countless local organizing groups. Our grassroots-driven approach has a proven record of success and we’re looking for talented folks to join our team!
United We Dream is seeking a State Advocacy Director who is the chief strategist at state and local levels for the development and building up of the organization’s state and local policy work. You are the principal manager of the State Advocacy team, so you must strive to always have a clear balance between the work that must be done at the state and local levels in connection to our national priorities. In collaboration with the Advocacy Team you will create a nationwide advocacy curriculum and training process for the development and growth of our pipeline of young leaders of color in the immigrant rights movement. You will supervise the State Coordinator and Advocacy Fellows across our key states. You are responsible to develop and maintain relationships with field leadership, key coalitions and congressional delegations in our key states to advance our agenda. The right person for this job is a critical thinker and willing learner with excellent organizational and communications skills to break down and condense information for diverse audiences.
The ideal candidate will be passionate about UWD’s mission and be highly motivated about working in a fast-growing organization. They must be committed to fighting for freedom and dignity for all communities of color, a skilled multi-tasker, reliable and committed to meeting deadlines while working collaboratively across teams in a fast-paced environment.
This is a full-time exempt position based in Washington, D.C. Periodic travel expected. Although not required, major plus if you are multilingual.
- Direct the state and local advocacy strategy: Collaborate with the Field team leadership, Federal Advocacy Director, and Advocacy & Policy Director to develop campaign strategies at state and local levels (i.e., for districts, counties, and/or cities) in UWD’s priority states; partner closely with the Federal Advocacy Director to ensure that campaign goals are connected to national priorities.
- Direct the implementation of actionable plans: Work with the State Coordinator, State field directors, and advocacy fellows to create and implement advocacy campaign plans with associated success metrics.
- Build long-term capacity: Collaborate with State Coordinator and Fellows to create a nationwide advocacy curriculum and training process to build up more advocacy leaders.
- Co-develop clear and compelling material: Collaborate with other team members and the Lobbying and Research Consultant to create key research products (e.g., reports, memos, briefs) that reflect UWD’s intersectional approach to policy analysis
- Cultivate strategic relationships: Responsible for building and maintaining relationships with congressional delegations in our key states, in partnership with our Field leadership; strengthen relationships with key coalitions and partner networks to advance our agenda; support the Field team and Advocacy Fellows in building strategic relationships with elected officials, local partners and coalition tables
- Serve as the internal point person for state/local advocacy: Join weekly state table calls/coalition spaces and provide advocacy updates on our work in core states
- Lead rapid response in priority states: Collaborate with other parts of the organization to respond to issues as they arise, seizing and creating opportunities to advance UWD’s overall goals and mission
People and Culture
- Lead the team: Directly supervise the State Coordinator and lead a team that includes three Fellows across multiple states.
- Develop staff: Actively coach and develop your team to achieve their goals – providing constructive feedback and guidance as they work towards them, creating opportunities to learn from both successes and setbacks, and hold staff accountable when they fall short.
- Demonstrate embodied leadership: Prioritize taking care of your physical and emotional health as a key component of thriving in your role. Practice self care behaviors in ways that work best for you and proactively encourage your staff to prioritize self care as well. Project trust & confidence in your abilities and skills and recognize the achievements and abilities of others.
- Build future leaders: Train and mentor youth in advocacy and policy in order to build a pipeline of young leaders of color in the immigrant rights movement.
- Strengthen the culture: Ensure a safe, welcoming, and inspiring organizational culture for staff to excel in. Role model and uphold UWD’s values of creating an inclusive and equitable working environment.
- Engage as a senior leader: Advise on organizational strategy; represent the Advocacy Department’s perspective during regular senior leadership team meetings; participate in strategic and long-term planning processes for the organization
- Strategic alignment: Build consensus within the membership to ensure UWD’s advocacy and political strategy is aligned with the organizational vision and membership priorities
- Support fundraising: Collaborate with Advocacy Director, Deputy Executive Director and Advocacy team in fundraising strategy for advocacy priorities
- Build future leaders: Train and mentor youth in advocacy and policy in order to build a pipeline of young leaders of color in the immigrant rights movement
- Demonstrate embodied leadership: Prioritize taking care of your physical and emotional health as a key component of thriving in your role. Practice self-care behaviors in ways that work best for you and proactively encourage your staff to prioritize self-care as well. Project trust & confidence in your abilities and skills and recognize the achievements and abilities of others
- Strengthen the culture: Ensure a safe, welcoming, and inspiring organizational culture for staff to excel in. Role model and uphold UWD’s values of creating an inclusive and equitable working environment
Desired Qualifications and Skills
- At least 2-3 years/cycles of demonstrated experience developing and implementing people-powered advocacy strategies at state/local levels
- Demonstrated understanding of both inside and outside strategies
- Well-versed in the substance of policy; able to analyze and interpret policy
- Understanding of representing membership-based groups and maintaining relationships with elected officials
- Track record of managing/leading advocacy campaigns
- Experience with c3 and c4 advocacy efforts and boundaries
- Preferred: Experience leading a statewide or local-level campaign related to immigrant justice/racial justice
Ability to Execute with Excellence
- Experience directing the implementation of advocacy plans, tracking and assessing progress, and adapting as needed
- Strong track record of leveraging research, media, and coalitions/partners to advance campaign goals
- Experience in creating advocacy trainings/curriculum
- Experience in partnership building/coalition work
- Direct lobbying experience
- Exceptional public speaking/presentation abilities
- Ability to Manage in Complexity
- Relentlessly results oriented; strong track record of meeting or exceeding goals
- At least 2-3 years of proven experience managing others to achieve ambitious goals
- Strategic and analytical thinker with ability to pivot from big picture to detailed implementation as needed
- Ability to juggle multiple streams of work, prioritize, and problem solve in complex and nuanced situations
- Comfort operating in complex and fluid environments, responding innovatively and rapidly to emerging opportunities or concerns
- Demonstrated ability to thrive year-round in a fast-paced, dynamic environment while managing a heavy workload.
- An exceptional team player; exemplifies a work style that is flexible, respectful, collaborative and nimble;
- Can build trust, confidence, and followership of diverse range of staff, fellow, partner organizations – across race, gender, and other identities
- Demonstrated record of mentorship and leadership development in previous positions
- Strong understanding of the immigrant experience of immigrant
- Understanding of race, gender, sexuality and other aspects of identity, and their intersections, and how that plays out in the work
- Demonstrates self awareness of their own multiple group identities and their attendant dynamics, and can adapt approach as needed
- Ability to build strong relationships and trust across race, gender, class, and other group identities, both internally and externally
- Experience working in communities of color and/or building multiracial organizing efforts
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please submit a cover letter, resume, at least one writing example, and salary requirement via email to email@example.com and include STATE ADVOCACY DIRECTOR (LAST NAME, FIRST NAME) in the subject line. Please do not send duplicate materials and incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone calls, please.
UWD is an equal opportunity employer; people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. UWD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnic background, citizenship status, religion, political orientation, genetic information, sexual orientation, age or disability.