Immigrants’ Rights Communications Fellow-ACLUF New York or Washington, D.C.

April 12, 2013
FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITY
IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS COMMUNICATIONS FELLOW [IRI-10]
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
New York or Washington, D.C.
 
For more than 92 years, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU has offices in all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and brings together the country’s largest team of public interest lawyers, lobbyists, communication strategists, and members and activists in the advancement of equality, fairness, and freedom, especially for the most vulnerable in our society. The ACLU’s National Office invites applications for an Immigrants’ Rights Communications Fellowship. The fellowship is a full-time position that will last for a one-year period. The position will be based in New York or Washington, D.C., and will focus on supporting the immigrants’ rights work of ACLU affiliates.
 
OVERVIEW
 
The ACLU is launching a nationwide and coordinated campaign of litigation, advocacy, and public education to fight state laws aimed at harming immigrants.  The Communications Fellow will be part of an exciting new interdisciplinary team that will integrate and capitalize on the expertise of staff focused on litigation, communications, advocacy, and alliance and coalition building.  The Communications Fellow will bring experience with new and traditional media, and a strategic communications planning perspective to the team.
 
Since its inception, the ACLU has maintained a commitment to protecting and promoting the civil rights and civil liberties of immigrants and their families. The ACLU has been at the forefront of almost every major recent struggle on behalf of immigrants’ rights. In recent years, state and local lawmakers around the country have adopted unconstitutional legislation and policies designed to take federal immigration regulation and enforcement into their own hands.  Laws like Arizona's SB 1070 invite racial profiling against Latinos, Asian Americans, and others presumed to be "foreign" based on how they look or how they speak. They also authorize police to demand papers proving citizenship or immigration status from anyone they stop and suspect of being in the country unlawfully.  Through an integrated nationwide team including advocacy staff, litigators, communications specialists, federal lobbyists, and ACLU affiliates, the ACLU leads the multi-pronged efforts to defeat these and other misdirected anti-immigrant laws.
 
Through its affiliates, members, and national staff, the ACLU has a presence in every state across the country.  The Communications Fellow will work closely with ACLU affiliates, their partner organizations, and impacted communities to develop and execute a communications campaign to aggressively battle state and local attempts to pass anti-immigrant legislation, as well as to push for positive measures that protect immigrants from discrimination and assist their efforts to integrate into civic life.
 
Under the supervision of the Communications Project Manager, the Fellow will play a critical role in executing communications strategies that advance the ACLU's campaign against state anti-immigrant laws. The ideal candidate is an individual with a fine-tuned sense of “what sells” in the news business and is comfortable liaising with reporters affiliated with both major and minor news outlets. The candidate should be able to find and develop stories that will advance our messaging and persuade target constituencies. We are seeking a candidate who thrives in a fast-paced environment, and pursues a strategic approach to promoting issues to target audiences through both new and traditional media.
 
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
 
  • Develop and execute communications and media strategy to elevate litigation and state-level legislation.
  • Cultivate relationships with reporters, editors, producers, bloggers and other media professionals.
  • Work with litigation and legislation departments and offices in conjunction with the communications manager and other staff of the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project to implement select components of the plan.
  • Find and develop stories for litigation and legislative communications that will move our constituencies to action.
  • Pitch news and feature stories to media outlets and actively follow up to garner maximum media coverage.
  • Prepare news releases, op-eds, blog posts and other web based content, letters to the editor, fact sheets, talking points and other press materials.
  • Provide guidance on media outreach and strategy to affiliate offices.
 
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
 
Required:
 
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
  • Three years of experience in public relations or media relations.  Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Excellent research, writing and editing skills; ability to produce clear, concise talking points, press releases and other materials within tight deadlines.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to contribute to a collegial work environment.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team, with team members in other regions across the country.
  • Strong interest in civil liberties and immigrants’ rights issues.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office and online communications tools.
 
Preferred:
 
  • Experience organizing events including press conferences and teleconferences.
  • Established contacts with reporters, editors, producers, bloggers and other media professionals.
  • Experience utilizing public opinion research to frame issues and develop messages a plus.
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus.
 
COMPENSATION
 
The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.
 
HOW TO APPLY
 
Please submit a letter of interest (with salary requirements), a resume and a writing sample via email to hrjobsCOMMFellow@aclu.org. Reference [IRI-10/ACLU-W] in the subject line.  Please note that this is not the general ACLU applicant email address. This email address is specific to the Communications Department posting.  In order to ensure your application is received, please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.
 
Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.
 
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
 
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required.  It does not represent a contract of employment.  The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
 
The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.
 
We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: HRJobsINCLReq@aclu.org. Correspondence sent to this address that is not related to accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.
 
The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation.  Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees.  The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties.  This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”
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