Employment Opportunities

Senior Community Engagement Associate

Chicago, IL

Organization Overview

Advance Illinois is a not-for-profit policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood. We believe every child should have access to a high-quality education regardless of geography, income or race.

Advance Illinois is an independent, objective voice promoting a public education system that prepares all students to be ready for work, college, and democratic citizenship. Advance Illinois is a nonpartisan non-profit that shapes the debate, builds powerful coalitions, and grows the grassroots to achieve meaningful outcomes for students.

To help improve the state’s public education system, Advance Illinois develops and forwards a comprehensive policy agenda that calls for systemic reforms that:

  • create rigorous learning environments with high expectations;
  • hire, develop, and retain great teachers and leaders;
  • give schools the resources they need;
  • engage families and provide necessary student supports; and
  • promote continuous improvement and innovation.

Advance Illinois’ Community Engagement team works to advance educational equity for students by bridging education policy and research with stakeholders on the ground. The team works to leverage relationships with state-level groups, policy makers, grassroots organizations, faith-based and civil rights organizations to ensure diverse perspectives are considered in the policy making processThrough our work we build powerful coalitions, and grow the grassroots to achieve meaningful outcomes for students. Our theory of action is based on our conviction that when education policy and action plans are based on high-quality data and community involvement, change will lead to improvements in learning conditions, increased student access and achievement, and sound decision making around resources particularly in these times of tight budgets and great need. 

Position Summary

The Senior Community Engagement Associate works collaboratively with the Director of Community Engagement to execute advocacy and outreach strategies to cultivate relationships with diverse stakeholders, build coalitions around key priorities, and ensure the perspectives of diverse stakeholders are considered in the policy making process. The Community Engagement team works in close collaboration with policy and communications team members to help inform complex issues and execute on advocacy campaigns.  

Advance Illinois has offices in both Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. However, 40% of the job will require time on the road traveling around the state of Illinois.  

The senior community engagement associate reports to the Director of Community Engagement. 

Responsibilities

  • Represent Advance Illinois with stakeholders in our key priority areas  
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with key stakeholders in Early childhood through Higher Education 
  • Support coalitions, networks, and campaigns by drafting plans and managing logistics for meetings 
  • Execute on digital advocacy toolkits in collaboration with other team members 
  • Identify and support key stakeholders to testify, submit op-eds, letters to the editor, media alerts, one-pagers and press releases 
  • Serve as the project planner for Educator Advisory Council experience by maintaining relationships, and coordinating/facilitating ongoing meetings 
  • Responsible for maintaining an engagement database tracking system to track qualitative data for the organization 
  • Identifysupport, and develop leaders that will advocate for advocacy campaign issues 
  • Develop effective ways to elevate the voices of communities most impacted  
  • Support the collective impact efforts, and policy engagement with the Illinois 60 by 25 Network 

Qualifications & Qualities

  • Strong commitment to and alignment with Advance Illinois’ mission of improving our state’s public education system;  
  • Minimum of 4-6 years of experience in a community outreach, organizing, or engagement role  
  • Ability to grasp and effectively communicate complex, detailed information in a clear, concise manner for a variety of audiences; 
  • Extensive knowledge of public education issues and/or experience creating high-impact advocacy campaigns; 
  • Experience in a fast-paced environment and comfortable working in an ever-shifting political environment, familiarity with state political and legislative environment highly preferred; 
  • A tremendous drive and strong ability to achieve outcomes. Ability to set and adhere to strict deadlines. Excellent planning and organizational skills as well as an exceptional attention to detail; 
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, and other supporters from all backgrounds and cultures; 
  • Comfort pivoting between high-level, strategic work and smaller tasks. No job is too big or too small; 
  • BA/BS; and 
  • Spanish fluency, both written and conversational, preferred, but not required. 

Compensation

Competitive salary that is commensurate with experience along with excellent benefits such as: health/dental insurance; short-term/long-term disability plans; 401K with a company match plan; flexible spending account; holidays and vacation accrual.

Commitment to Diversity

Advance Illinois is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, low-income persons, LGBTQ+ persons, differently-abled people, and other people from diverse backgrounds. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to engagement@advanceillinois.org. All submissions will be acknowledged, and you will be contacted if you are selected for an interview. No phone calls please. 

Advance Illinois is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, low-income persons, LGBT persons, differently-abled people, and other people from diverse backgrounds. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.