Greater Cleveland Congregations is currently seeking to recruit, train, and develop the next generation of grassroots organizers. Greater Cleveland Congregations is a multi-faith, multi-racial, county-wide organization made up of congregations, community organizations and schools from across the county organizing poor, working and middle class families on issues like education, jobs, criminal justice, healthcare, and gun violence. The organization is looking for people from community organizations, colleges, graduate programs, seminaries, business and law schools, political campaigns, and other professions who are interested in exploring careers in organizing. Candidates selected will primarily focus on key issue areas of Education and Criminal Justice.
Qualities of a Successful Organizer:
- Native intelligence – not necessarily degrees, but the ability to think, reflect, communicate, challenge the conventional wisdom, make judgments in complicated situations, and show flexibility.
- Anger and edge – not temper, not ideological fervor, not an abstract commitment to “the people,” but a clear sense of what’s wrong, impatience in the face of that wrong, and a drive to address it.
- Relationality, especially across race and culture – ability to build deep trust with people, especially people unlike oneself, people of other races, classes, orientations, faiths, etc.
- A track record – some evidence, in high school, college, the local community, the workplace of attempting to relate to people and to respond to situations that seemed to demand responses; and some success in whatever field, career or endeavor has occupied the individual’s time.
Bilingual applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Successful candidates will participate in an organizer training period before being offered a position as an organizer. Greater Cleveland Congragations trainees and organizers are full-time, salaried positions with health care benefits.
Over 5 years, Great Cleveland Congregations has organized victories to help pass three Cleveland Municipal School District levies. These three levies will bring over $100 million dollars for operational purposes and build/renovate over 40 schools. Greater Cleveland Congregations led the fight to reduce low-level nonviolent crimes charged as felonies which resulted in a 25 percent overall reduction over four years. In 2013, GCC was the leading organization to form the Northeast Ohio Medicaid Expansion Coalition made of hospitals, foundations, community organizations and faith communities. GCC pushed for Medicaid by door-knocking in key neighborhoods, organizing statewide actions, and gathering thousands of signatures for support. In 2014, the state of Ohio expanded Medicaid and as a result over 750,000 Ohioans now have access to healthcare.
Greater Cleveland Congregations is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the nation’s first and largest network of faith, community and civic organizations. IAF has seven decades of experience winning tough battles across the nation including: winning the first living wage ordinance in Baltimore, establishing crisis intervention centers in Chicago to decriminalize mental illness, expunging hundreds of records to allow citizens a fresh start in NYC, building 39,000 affordable housing units along the East Coast and nearly $1 billion in school construction financing in Baltimore.
If interested in this opportunity, please send one-page or less story of self that tells why you want to be an organizer or why you became an organizer and a short (1 page or less) resume. Include your contact information (address, email, mobile number) and send to: James Pearlstein, GCC Leader Organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org.