Youth Organizer (San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno)

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ACLU of Northern CA

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) seeks a Youth Organizer for the San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno offices.  This position will be directly responsible for coordinating volunteer youth programs throughout our region, including 1) coordinating youth and young adult opportunities to take actions that align with the goals and priorities of the organization, 2) programs that develop the leadership and skills of youth and young adults, and 3) developing partnerships with organizations, networks, and educational agencies that serve youth and young adults. The ideal candidate has experience both working with youth, especially who are BIPOC and directly impacted, as well as facilitating trainings and spaces for learning, organizing, and developing volunteer programs.

The Approach

Our work is guided by the principles of freedom, equality, and justice enumerated in the Constitution. However, we know that because of historic and systemic racism and other forms of oppression, these principles are not equitably applied to all. In an ideal world, everyone would have equal access to justice and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, neither our world nor our country is ideal. Our work involves hard subject matters that can be emotionally draining for some people. Ideal candidates will understand that as a mission driven organization; we strive to make the world a better place knowing that the road is long and hard. At the same time, we understand the importance of community-care, and do our best to reflect that in our practices and values.

The Position 

You have boundless belief in the ability for youth and young adults to change the world. You enjoy developing youth leaders through one-on-ones and trainings, celebrating, and building upon their successes and ideas. You bring compassion, patience, support, and trust to relationships with young people who might be navigating changes in their lives, instability, or experiencing traumas. You understand and connect with the needs of youth, especially who are BIPOC or directly impacted by the issues the ACLU works on. You are adept at developing and facilitating trainings, teams, and designing programs or strategies that meet your individual goals while also fitting into the larger goals of the team and organization. You are collaborative, adaptable and people oriented.

This position also works closely with National to integrate participants in National youth programs from our region into our base and with Organizers to integrate participants from youth programs into our base. Additional departmental projects and tasks shift throughout the year and can include matching volunteers with opportunities to fill needs in the organization.

About the Organization

The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is comprised of two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (the “Foundation”, a 501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (the “Union”, a 501c4). The incumbent is a joint employee of both corporations. For most of the last century, ACLU Nor Cal has been part of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state.

Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era, we face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. At the same time, ACLU NorCal is committed to advancing proactive and positive change to transform laws and institutions to advance our values. We are committed to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning.

Duties & Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities

Young Adult Programs (18+ Years old)

  • Develop ongoing strategies for young adult leadership development through skills-building programs, events, and opportunities to take action that are specific to the needs of people in emerging adulthood age, especially who are BIPOC and/or directly impacted by civil liberties and civil rights issues 
  • Develop and implement an annual programmatic timeline alongside other department activities that emphasizes learning through taking action, including: 
    • Strategic recruitment in priority counties or places where we have existing ongoing goals and work and amongst communities most impacted by the issues  
    • Developing learning objectives and curriculum that emphasizes organizing and advocacy skills 
    • Integrate participants into existing opportunities for action in the legislative process, local campaigns, or through partnerships with staff and chapters  
    • Support ongoing development through relationship building, 1-1s, developing trainings on needs as they arise, and facilitating participant-to-participant learning opportunities  
    • Facilitate involvement in movement-based activities such as long-term ACLU roles, partner roles, or other steps as determined in partnership with participants 
  • Develop and implement structures that foster equity, belonging, and diversity in young adult programs 
  • Train young adult participants to be effective allies when working on issues by which they are not directly impacted, including understanding systems of racism and oppression and their impact on civil liberties, using appropriate language, and seeking input from people who are directly impacted 
  • Evaluate overall success of programs, identify opportunities for programmatic growth, and develop processes to implement changes 

Youth Programs (14 – 17 years old)

  • Develop ongoing strategies for youth leadership development and skills-building programs and events that are specific to the developmental needs of people in high school 
  • Develop strategic partnerships with institutions and organizations that serve high-school aged youth, such as schools and teachers or other non-profits that focus on youth leadership development and youth organizing, especially that focus on BIPOC youth
  • Present at schools and other youth spaces to provide community education on civil liberties issues and civic engagement skill-building 
  • Respond to requests from teachers and students and connect them to organizational resources or opportunities to take action 
  • Appropriately integrate youth participants, teachers, and other partners into opportunities to take action on existing work led by the Organizing Department
  • Identify youth leaders to invite to participate in ongoing leadership development programs 

Build, train, and mobilize the ACLU base of youth and young adult activists

  • Strategically recruiting NorCal youth activists into National conferences or other events, participating in program implementation, and integrating youth participants into the NorCal base 
  • Develop relationships with existing youth networks, especially those with connections to staff or other areas of the organization, and participate in their activities as appropriate  
  • Ensure youth participants have access to resources and considerations are made to mitigate barriers and encourage their participation in department-wide actions, including legislative mobilizations, conferences, and other trainings and events 
  • Coordinate or support logistics for these events, recruit and confirm volunteers, and support implementation 
  • Adapt existing materials to maximize youth and young adult engagement 


Education / Experience:

  • At least 3 years of experience working with young adult volunteers or youth leaders in a non-profit, educational environment, or other organization where the goal is focused on youth development and/or civic participation
  • We also welcome you to include any lived experience you are comfortable sharing in your cover letter or an additional attachment

Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Understanding of unique needs of students and young-adult activists, and able to design culturally competent activities and programs to recruit and engage youth and young people in an ongoing way 
  • Experience working with volunteer and/or youth leaders to plan programs, events, and organizing tactics, delegating responsibility, and ensuring volunteers are effective  
  • Demonstrates ability to support youth and young adult volunteers through coaching and giving actionable constructive or corrective feedback   
  • Able to resolve conflict and addresses racist or inappropriate behavior when it arises during trainings and in other organizing spaces  
  • Able to facilitate trainings and other organizing spaces that enable people with different backgrounds, knowledge, and experience to learn and take action 
  • Experience carrying out a variety of activist engagement tactics (virtual and in person) including but not limited to text banks, phone banks, trainings, and other events beginning to end, including recruitment, confirmation, follow-up, and ongoing engagement of participants 
  • Excellent time and project management, ability to evaluate and chance course when needed, and adaptability and a solutions-oriented approach 
  • Commitment to the mission and values of the ACLU and the organizing team and an understanding of structural, institutional, and interpersonal racism  
  • Demonstrates emotional intelligence and works well with others by seeking to understand their experiences and perspectives  
  • Available for weekend and evening responsibilities
  • Available for some travel within Northern California and rarely Southern California or out of the state 
  • Valid driver’s license and ability to drive throughout northern 48 counties in California  

Preferred Skills / Competencies:

  • Written and verbal language skills relevant to the demographics of the region served most frequently by the position (Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog or Vietnamese in SF Bay Area as of 2014)
  • Physical ability to set up, staff, and clean up from meetings and events, including moving chairs and tables, and carrying boxes and equipment

Technical Skills:

  • Uses Microsoft Suite, GSuite, and databases and other technologies as needed. Learns new digital organizing and computer programs 
  • Comfortable using new technologies 

Total Compensation

We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which includes equitable pay practices. Competitive compensation is commensurate with experience. Starting salary range for this position is $74,132 – $86,487 Annually. 

We understand how vital our work is and at the same time understand the toll engaged activism can take. Our goal is to retain staff and we believe that having a robust benefit offering is vital in meeting that goal. Our benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; fully employer-paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. We have a robust Employee Assistance Program and emerging Employee Resource Groups.

This position is represented by IFTPE Local 20.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis.  Applications must include (1) a resume, (2) a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this role, and 3) a list of three references.  Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter. Please submit your application online at:

The ACLU NorCal is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU NorCal strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.  ACLU NorCal will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

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