Policy and Advocacy Director

Website Imagine Black


Position: Policy and Advocacy Director
Department: Movement Building
Supervisor: Executive Director

Salary: $ 70,000 – 80,000

Benefits: Full medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance covered at 100%; flexible work schedule; flexible paid time off with approval from supervisor; paid holidays; phone and travel allowance; child and pet-friendly workplace.

Position & Status: Full-Time, exempt
Anticipated Start Date: April 2022
Hours: 40 hours per week; occasional evenings and weekends

Location: Temporarily remote (based in Oregon) but eventually Portland, OR; ability to work from home up to 3 days/week once it’s safe to return to office. Will be required to work extended hours in Salem during legislative sessions.

Physical/Cognitive Details: Regularly required to use a computer and phone to perform work and communicate with others for several hours each day. Occasionally required to travel throughout Oregon. Noise level in the office is moderate.



Imagine Black (formerly known as PAALF Action Fund) helps our Black community imagine the alternatives we deserve and build our political participation and leadership to achieve those alternatives. Since our start in 2009, we have envisioned a world where people of African descent enjoy the rights, resources, and recognition to be a thriving, resilient, and connected community.

At Imagine Black, we have strengthened our commitment to a Black Queer Feminist (BQF) theory and practice. BQF provides a more holistic understanding of our conditions and connectedness as Black people. As a result, we understand that liberation for all Black people can only be realized by lifting up the voices, experiences, and prioritizing the issues of historically silenced and vulnerable groups within Black communities – specifically, queer, trans and GNC, femme, poor, disabled, working, and undocumented people (adapted from BYP100).

Imagine Black is a 501(c)(4) multi-issue grassroots organization in partnership with our sibling 501(c)(3) organization, Imagine Black Futures. We are a staff of eight with an operating budget of around $1M. This represents a 400% budget growth in the past four years.

More information about Imagine Black can be found at imagineblack.org.



Imagine Black is looking for a Policy and Advocacy Director to lead our local (local governments, city bureaus, Trimet and school districts), county/regional (Metro and county government) and state (legislative, governor, and some agencies) advocacy activities, primarily by building and maintaining alliances among key actors throughout the state of Oregon. The Policy and Advocacy Director is a key member of the Movement Building departmental leadership team.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for engaging with coalition partners, policymakers, nonprofit leaders, industry executives, and constituents to bring about real policy change. They will be skilled in building reciprocal relationships with partners from marginalized communities and in fostering collaboration (even when there are competing interests). They should be able to advocate for more equitable policy solutions, paying attention to the role of race, poverty, age, and immigration status in healthcare access, and regularly include others in planning and decision-making. They will be committed to getting results in a fast-paced environment without sacrificing input or quality, and have the resilience to navigate setbacks with an eye toward new opportunities.



Policy & Advocacy (75%)

  • In alignment with the Imagine Black Strategic Plan, develop and implement an intentional and comprehensive framework for local, county/regional, and state advocacy and policy change efforts for Black Oregonians.
  • Reporting to the Executive Director, work with staff and accomplices to chart the course for the Advocacy Division within the Movement Building Department.
  • Implement Imagine Black’s current and future advocacy agenda, including Reimagining Public Safety and building a publicly-funded Oregon Childcare system.
  • Implement Imagine Black’s rapid response issue-based advocacy related to anti-displacement, environmental and climate justice, and COVID-19 response.
  • Build and maintain strategic relationships with policymakers, nonprofit leaders, industry executives, leading experts, coalition partners, and constituents.
  • Lead direct advocacy efforts including, but not limited to: submitting letters, providing testimony and statements, leading grassroots lobbying efforts, participating in ballot measure campaigns, meeting with elected officials, and making comments to local, regional and state government.
  • Use experimental and innovative practices to lead policy research and policy development for lobbying, legislative advocacy, rulemaking analysis and advocacy, racial justice policy awareness and analysis, and related public policy research.
  • Lead lobbying activities in alignment with Imagine Black’s organizational mission and program goals, including creating and maintaining relationships with key elected leaders.
  • Ensure compliance with all state, county/regional, and local laws related to advocacy and/or lobbying.
  • Represent Imagine Black at advocacy coalition tables, including Child Care for Oregon Coalition, Decentralized Police Network, Movement for Black Lives Policy Table, Coalition of Communities of Color, and Anti-Displacement Coalition.
  • Monitor legislative proposals and trends.
  • Participate in the implementation of field campaign efforts during and outside of election cycles.
  • Collaborate with other movement building teams on short-term campaigns and projects as needed.

Staff & Department Leadership (15%)

  • Serve as a collaborative member of Imagine Black’s Leadership Team.
  • Monitor the advocacy budget in collaboration with the Executive Director.
  • Provide input on staffing, structure, and resource decisions to achieve department goals in support of the Executive Director.
  • Supervise and support the professional development of advocacy and civic engagement staff through goals and growth opportunities, resources, and ongoing feedback and coaching.
  • Supervise external consultants and kinfolk members as needed.
  • Manage the administration of the advocacy team, including approval of timesheets, PTO requests, purchases and reimbursements, and contracts.
  • Develop and strengthen departmental policies and processes as needed.

Organizational Support (10%)

  • Collaborate with the Development and Communications Department in grant identification and editing, social media, and by attending events.
  • Work with staff to integrate the advocacy and communications strategies.
  • Attend internal staff and department meetings, and collaborate with other staff as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • A minimum of 5 years of experience working with community-based organizations, labor, or electoral organizations with proven success in developing and winning advocacy campaigns.
  • At least 2 years of experience supervising staff, with a strong track record of building teams and developing staff leadership.
  • Knowledge of movement building and of approaches to increase community power through integrated voter engagement.
  • A passion for the mission and vision of Imagine Black.
  • A passion for how self-determination and radical Black imagination can directly influence policy and advocacy.
  • Proven skills working and communicating with communities within the African diaspora, especially with descendants of enslaved Africans, African immigrants and refugees, and Caribbean immigrants and refugees.
  • A commitment to applying a BQF lens to organizing and civic and political participation.
  • Strong work ethic and flexibility to accommodate multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Superb writer; skilled at making complicated ideas (complex laws, policies, and legislative initiatives) accessible to the general public through policy one-pagers, briefs, and reports.
  • Ability to work effectively with elected leaders and members in complex, political situations.
  • Ability to frequently travel locally and commute to meetings and events in Salem and throughout the state, and often on short notice as needed.



  • Extensive knowledge of voter databases such as NGP VAN.
  • Knowledge of political strategy and political landscape on local, county/regional, and state levels.
  • Bi- or multi-lingual (Arabic, Amharic, Swahili and Somali speaking applicants are encouraged to apply).
  • Lived experience with Black community issues, particularly in Oregon.
  • Results- and deadline-driven
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office and/or Google Suite.
  • Proficient computer skills and ability to learn new systems as needed.



To be considered for this role, please submit the following items:

  1. Resume or CV;
  2. Cover letter describing your interest in this position and how well you meet the stated qualifications; and
  3. Your written response to the following prompt:
    Please explain your view of the relationship between base building, advocacy, and movement building and, using specific examples, illustrate how it can be used to build political power.

Materials should be sent to hr@imagineblack.org with the subject line: Policy and Advocacy Director. No phone calls, please.

Racial and gender equity is of utmost importance for our search. If you do not meet all of the required qualifications for this role but feel you can be a great addition to our team, please apply and let us know why we should meet you!

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, with priority given to those received by January 17, 2021.

Imagine Black embraces diversity in a profound way. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool – because we know the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.

To apply for this job email your details to hr@imagineblack.org