The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in August 2007 and works across the South. Our mission is to promote justice by partnering with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights. SCSJ’s focus areas are community-driven, and currently include voting rights, justice system reform, and environmental justice. SCSJ employs a community lawyering model, meaning that we bring a variety of professional supports to our clients and partners, including legal, organizing, communications and research, and work with communities to determine which tools to use and when in order to best advance our partners goals. 

For more information about our work and our unique community lawyering approach, visit our website at www.scsj.org. 

Diversity and Inclusion Statement: 

SCSJ is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, personal appearance, marital or family status, citizenship, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, genetic information, natural hair styles, or other status as protected by State and Federal laws. It is our intention to promote the full realization of equality in opportunity and employment. 

Position Summary: 

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), the leading social justice organization in the South, is seeking an experienced, creative, and strategic Communications Advocate to source, develop, and distribute content across SCSJ’s communications channels and to external outlets. The Communications Advocate will play a key role in keeping audiences, stakeholders, and the media abreast of SCSJ’s and its partner’s work while amplifying the brand on a local, regional, and national scale.  

SCSJ’s Communications Department creates and amplifies messages and narratives to engage communities across the South to help defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights, and also illustrate the value and impact of SCSJ’s consequential work. Our work is highly relational and ever-changing as we also strive to support our partners with their communications needs and uplift their important work. We are led by the communities we serve and the coalitions we help build to make a more inclusive and equitable South that works for everyone.  

Reporting to SCSJ’s Communications Director, the Communications Advocate will join a passionate team of committed individualswho believe in investing in bold ideas to help grassroots organizations deepen their impact and advocate for social justice and human rights. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of SCSJ’s mission and vision as the organization continues to grow. 

This is not an entry-level position. The Communications Advocate will work across three program areas and should have deep knowledge of the Southern landscape in each: Voting Rights, Justice System Reform and Environmental Justice. They will create and edit compelling copy with a strong focus on storytelling about SCSJ, its clients and partners, and the communities they serve. They will assist leadership and each program area through messaging, engagement with newsmakers and policy shapers, written content and creative dissemination to a wide audience. The right candidate will be comfortable working with legalese, drafting poignant messages in both rapid and strategic response situations, and communicating with a variety of individuals from attorneys and academics to lawmakers, judges, everyday community members and everyone in between. 

Key Accountabilities and Deliverables: 

  • Maintain brand and messaging consistency by reviewing and editing donor-oriented content – digital fundraising communications, donor correspondence, concept notes, and donor reports – as requested
  • Collaborate with the leadership team to develop and implement SCSJ’s overall communications strategy, including support to digital fundraising campaigns 
  • Vet and respond to inquiries from the press and other third-party media, as appropriate 
  • Draft compelling media pitches and statements; assist in developing and writing op-eds, media and interview preparation, thought pieces, and news statements 
  • Create, refine, and execute communications plans and ongoing programs to promote client matter outcomes and milestones, and other newsworthy activity 
  • Stay abreast of trends and related developments that may inform our thought leadership efforts and recommend tactics based on findings 
  • Work with staff to identify timely and relevant topics for thought leadership campaigns  Participate in other communications, writing, and marketing projects, as needed
  • Assist with monitoring media alerts and key publications for news related to SCSJ, and share content with relevant parties internally
  • Draft, edit, and publish press releases on a deadline-driven basis 
  • Research, track, and help cultivate relationships with journalists and media outlets; expand public relations campaigns and media connections to new sectors 
  • Post press releases and news items on SCSJ’s website; help to create and update other web content, as needed 
  • Research conferences, events, sponsorship and speaking opportunities, and work with colleagues to propose and coordinate participation 
  • Maintain and organize systems that track information including project timelines, deadlines, measure results, program participation, etc. 
  • Facilitate the development and design of marketing materials in house using graphic design software, or in collaboration with graphic designers 
  • Maintain brand and messaging consistency by reviewing and editing donor-oriented content – digital fundraising communications, donor correspondence, concept notes, and donor reports – as requested 
  • Collaborate with the leadership team to develop and implement SCSJ’s overall communications strategy, including support to digital fundraising campaigns 
  • Participate in other communications, writing, and marketing projects, as needed

Qualifications: 

  • 4-6 years of professional experience in communications, public relations, journalism, or a highly-related field 
  • Highly organized with meticulous attention to detail 
  • Experience providing communications support through a racial justice lens. 
  • Ability to leverage and/or tailor content and messaging for specific audiences, especially journalists and news media 
  • Ability to work in an environment with shifting priorities to meet time-sensitive deadlines, as well as manage multiple projects simultaneously, including confidential matters 
  • Excellent communication skills (writing, editing, formatting, and proofreading skills) 
  • Excellent customer service, interpersonal, and public relations skills, especially as it relates to email and phone correspondence 
  • Experience creating professional social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), or willingness to learn 
  • Demonstrated ability to work confidently and collaboratively with individuals at all levels of the organization 
  • Familiarity with press release distribution software, e.g. Meltwater, Cision, etc., or willingness to learn 
  • Experience editing and maintaining website content, preferably in WordPress 
  • Ability to prioritize, organize and balance a heavy workload with a high level of productivity, proficiency, and precision 
  • Willingness to learn new technologies and processes  
  • Strong team player 
  • Existing presence in the social justice and/or justice transformation community and or a commitment to social justice principles and to SCSJ’s community-lawyering model of practice 
  • Flexibility to accommodate work during evenings and weekends when warranted 
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion. Respect for differences in race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability and socioeconomic background 
  • Preference for experience working with lawyers and or litigation in a communications or journalism setting 

Salary & Benefits:  

The Communications Advocate starting salary range is from $55,000 to $65,000 a year, commensurate with experience, and includes a comprehensive benefits package, with medical and dental coverage, paid parental leave, participation in a retirement plan, sick and vacation leave, paid holidays and more. 

Location: 

The Communications Advocate will work from SCSJ’s office located in Durham, North Carolina. Due to the ongoing public health crisis, SCSJ staff will be working remotely until advised that it is safe to return to work. During this period of remote time, we are working with staff on an individual basis to set up flex schedules if needed for childcare or other care commitments. 

To Apply: 

Candidates must upload a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples (with a preference for one to be an op-ed or journalism article) through the application form here. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates who can start ASAP are encouraged to apply.