Illinois (Location Flexible)

Founding Director, Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative

The Organization

Grand Victoria Foundation, Julian Grace Foundation, Steans Family Foundation and Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy and others have partnered to create a statewide Black-led and Black-focused advocacy organization called the Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative.  Following two years of outreach and analysis, the IBAI Steering Committee is ready to hire a Founding Director to lead the development of the organization and to facilitate the creation of a common agenda.

Rooted in the brutality and economics of chattel slavery, centuries of historic racism have caused loss of life and dignity for Black communities and have established widespread exclusionary policies and systems throughout the United States.  Racism against black bodies has created loss of life, disproportionate incidence of disease and an endless array of disparities to this day. In 2021, the Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative was founded due to the current heightened sense of urgency to create and advance a statewide Black Advocacy agenda in Illinois. Although catalyzed by the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black lives, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Chicagoan Laquan McDonald and others have driven momentum. This Initiative acknowledges and builds upon a long pre-existing desire and early efforts to launch a unified agenda.

Position Overview

The Founding Director will have the opportunity to build the Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative from the ground-up, organizing and gaining buy-in and engagement, building its management and financial capacity, driving change, and ultimately establishing a plan of collective advocacy and policy solutions for the needs of Black communities throughout Illinois. The IBAI presents the opportunity to center the Black experience, voice, and analysis in designing and implementing solutions that are laser-focused on repairing the harms of structural and systemic racism over generations.

The successful candidate must be aware and informed of the history of the Black Struggle and the history of both intentional and institutionalized racism.  Candidates must exhibit a clear understanding, ability, and passion for the organizational development required to weave and operationalize a vision for change on behalf of Black communities throughout the state of Illinois. A strong commitment to collaboration across disciplines as well as evidence of leading successful partnerships with a variety of stakeholders is expected. The position will require clear analysis of structures and systemic barriers that sustain the status quo and alternative strategies to build economically, politically, vibrant, and sustainable Black communities. Excellent demonstrable and compelling communication skills will be central to this position. Although previous CEO experience is not required, the successful candidate will present a track record of leadership that has resulted in strong processes and a high functioning organization.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced leader and strategist who has worked in the field of social justice, especially in the Black community.  This leader will build momentum for relevant, critical, and provocative dialogue across sectors that builds collaboration and meets the urgent need to develop a Black-centered, intersectional approach to advocacy and power building in Illinois. The Founding Director will be afforded the unique opportunity to work in partnership with leaders in policy advocacy, movement building, constituency and community building, research, philanthropy, and other disciplines required to launch a new statewide entity.

The salary for this position is budgeted at $150,000. The Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative will offer a comprehensive benefits package, including but not limited to paid holidays, vacation and health leave, group health and disability insurance.

How To Apply

To apply, please submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page).

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